Julisa Abad isn't originally from the Detroit area, but since she moved here, she's been an outspoken activist for the local transgender community.
In BTL article last March, Abad emphasized the lack of awareness surrounding transgender issues.
"There is a lack of attention to the very real issues that are placing trans women of color in danger to begin with," she said. "We need to increase the service options available to support us as we are some of the area's most vulnerable people."
This year, Abad hopes to chip away at that need throughout the holiday season. She is also a transgender advocate at Fair Michigan, and has cooperated up with the Detroit Police Department LGBT Advisory Board to put on A Trans Holiday Soiree. The event is also partially sponsored by her organization TeamABAD, which is dedicated to addressing the high rates of homelessness in the transgender community, particularly regarding trans women of color.
On TeamABAD's GoFundMe page, Abad cites that 60 percent of trans women of color earn less than $10,000 annually, and are four times more likely to be experiencing homelessness or violence than cisgender people. Along with it being a party meant to raise awareness of these issues, the Soiree will include HIV testing, raffles, holiday giveaways, food, music and winter essentials to aid the local transgender community.