About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use Accuracy & Fairness Corrections & Clarifications Ethics Code Your Ad Choices
© MEAWW All rights reserved

Who was Monica Roberts? Internet mourns death of trans rights activist and TransGriot founder: 'Rest in power'

Roberts was popular for providing a voice to Black transgender people and transgender people of color through her advocacy work and her blog

Renowned transgender rights advocate Monica Roberts died at the age of 58. Roberts was popular in Houston and across the nation for giving a voice to Black transgender people and transgender people of color through her advocacy work and her blog, TransGriot.

As reported by, the advocate worked closely with the Houston Police Department regarding the treatment of LGBTQ+ victims in criminal cases and dedicated her time in lobbying for transgender rights at the federal, state and local levels. According to the report, president of Human Rights Campaign Alphonso David said, "Monica Roberts was an icon and a trailblazing voice for transgender rights, both in her home state of Texas and around the country. We are deeply saddened to learn of her passing, and offer our most heartfelt condolences to her friends, family, and loved ones. For decades, Monica has been a fierce leader — bringing light to the injustice transgender people face, especially Black transgender women. She leaves behind a strong, and vital legacy — one that every LGBTQ person and ally should work to honor and advance. Rest in power, Monica, and thank you."

In a Facebook post, the Black Trans Advocacy Coalition wrote: "It is with great sadness that the BTAC family has received notice of the passing of Monica Roberts, our sister, aunt, and friend. We should have a well elaborated post about this, but at the moment we just need to notify the public and begin processing our grief and loss at this time. Please keep Monica's soul, friends and family in your prayers that they all may find comfort and peace at this time of separation. We love you Monica. Fly high, angel."

It is with great sadness that the BTAC family has received notice of the passing of Monica Roberts, our sister, aunt,...

Posted by Black Trans Advocacy Coalition on Thursday, October 8, 2020


Roberts was a founding member of the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition and served as the political director on its board from 1999-2002. In Louisville, Roberts served on the board of the Fairness Campaign and its political action committee, C-FAIR. In 2005 and 2006, she organized the Transsistahs-Transbrothas Conference that took place in Louisville.

In 2006, Roberts founded the TransGriot blog. She was driven by the lack of trans blogs focused on Black people and other people of color. Through TransGriot, Roberts also identified murder victims who were transgender in order to pay respect to victims and address the frequent misgendering that takes place in police reports and media coverage. In 2016, Roberts received a Special Recognition Award from GLAAD, and the Phillips Brooks House Association's Robert Coles ‘Call of Service’ Award.

The following year, Roberts received the HRC John Walzel Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign. In January 2020, Roberts received the Susan J Hyde Award for Longevity in the Movement from the National LGBTQ Task Force and in June this year, Queerty named her among the 50 heroes "leading the nation toward equality, acceptance, and dignity for all people".

People took to social media to pay respect. Writer Janet Mock tweeted, "Monica Roberts held us down — the first to defend, to celebrate, to amplify. I would not be where I am without Her — a big sister who told it like it was, who centered Black trans lives, brilliance & history unapologetically. Rest well sis. Thank you." One user said, "I’m shocked at the sudden loss of @TransGriot. For trans journalists she was a pioneer and an essential North Star. I know so many of us will be deeply saddened by her passing."

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez wrote: "The sudden death of @TransGriot is a huge loss. Her fierce advocacy for #trans rights was crucial and admirable. Let's vow to remember her and stand in solidarity to advance her work. She worked to stop anti #transgender violence and discrimination. Rest in Power. #HouNews." A user said, "I am just shocked and sad. Monica Roberts was a trans elder I looked up to and deeply admired.” Another said, "Sending all my love to those who knew and loved Monica Roberts. What a terrible loss. May she rest in power and may her people be comforted and guided by her spirit."