Brave Space Alliance offers resources for Chicago’s transgender and LGBTQ+ community

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CHICAGO, I.L. – The Brave Space Alliance on Chicago’s Southside is a safe space for transgender people and members of LGBTQ+ community, and it’s the first LGBTQ+ resource center that is both Black and transgender-led.

"This room we call the makeup room. So this is our transfeminine affirming room for BIPOC sex workers and trans-queer folks where they can come and get items – as far as makeup, skin care, hair products – to affirm their gender," said Brave Space Alliance Employee Niya Mona. "Brave Space Alliance is a black, trans-led organization here located on the south side of Chicago. We provide resources for community members that’s like for us by us, kind of thing."

LaSaia Wade, Brace Space Alliance’s CEO, says: "So Brave Space came out of a thought around a march that happened for black trans women who were killed on the Southside of Chicago five years ago. There wasn’t a big outcry or a push with other organizations or collectives to really ask why or what’s going to happen or what’s being done for our community. And I was like, ‘I should create an organization on the same structural level, but in our community to work in parallel with collectives that are on the ground.’ So that’s why we’re here today."

Brave Space Alliance is open every weekday and offers Black and Brown transgender and gender non-conforming people tons of vital resources, like HIV testing, crisis pantry food program, support groups, gender-affirming clothing and accessories, and free locker space.

"The reason why it’s so important to have BSA on the south side is because we’re underserved. For so many years, we haven’t had anything for community members like ourselves – people of color, who are facing adversity. We’ve always had to travel outside of our community to receive just resources," said Mona.

"Most people have to go on the north side of Chicago where it possibly could take an hour to two hours to get to the resource that they need and not have to worry about being harassed while they’re trying to get to their resources," said CEO LaSaia Wade. "So it was important for us to actually be in the communities that we’re servicing so they don’t have to worry about it. ‘Are they going to make it home? Will they make it home?’ Yes, you will because we want to make sure that you get everything that you possibly need and as close as to where your home is."

To learn more about the Brave Space Alliance, click here.