Ashlee Marie Preston

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Ashlee Marie Preston is an American media personality, journalist and activist, the first trans woman to become editor-in-chief of a national publication, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and the first openly trans person to run for state office in California. Originally from Kentucky, she moved to Los Angeles and began transitioning at age 19. She first rose to public attention after publicly confronting Caitlyn Jenner over her support for the Trump administration. She contributed her writing to a number of publications, and been recognized for her activism by various media organizations and companies. She is active in the Los Angeles trans community, and is a member of multiple community organizations, including serving as the chair of communications and media sponsorship with group Los Angeles Pride, and as a community outreach member with the Human Rights Campaign.


  • Growing up I felt underrepresented in mainstream media. I knew that someday I was going to change that by holding space for those that felt as I did. As women, those of color, and LGBTQ people, we’re often silenced while others speak as experts on our experiences. No one can tell our stories better than we can.
  • You’re a fucking fraud. It’s really fucked up that you continue to support somebody... that does everything with the military, that’s erasing our fucking community. And you support it.
  • There’s already an attitude among perpetrators that you can’t rape or harass the willing. Society views trans women as sexual deviants, and many believe that we "ask for it" or "bring it on ourselves". As trans women we’re expected to function as sexual objects and an aide in satisfying the cis-hetero male libido. We’re demonized and criminalized as perverts out to trick and deceive cis hetero men; therefore anything that happens to us, we ‘had coming.
  • We don’t need an invitation to access our greatness.
  • There’s a quote by Zora Neale Hurston: "All kinfolk ain’t kinfolk," meaning just because people are African-American does not mean they are working toward the betterment of the African-American community. And so my own version of that is: Everybody LGBTQ ain’t always for you.
  • I feel that it’s impossible to be an ultraconservative feminist, because you’re supporting people that are working against your own interests ... [I]f you’re not actively dismantling racism, or discrimination based on class and economic position, then you are part of the problem — and you’re benefiting from the oppression of other women.
  • What tends to happen in the LGBTQ community is that everything pertaining to the G part supersedes everything else. I decided to have a cake made with 77 photos of trans women under 35 who have lost their lives to transphobic hate because wedding cakes get more attention than black trans women in our community.
  • It is the “battle of the beliefs”: hanging on to your belief that you are who you are despite how others may define you, while also challenging yourself not to compare your insides to other people’s outsides. It’s a constant effort to align yourself externally with how you feel internally.
  • I often made up these stories in my mind about people I idolized or wanted to be like. I always write happy endings for them and convinced myself that life would be so much easier if I could walk in their shoes. But I never realized that in those shoes their feet were scraped and bruised like mine.

See also

  • Harvey Milk, American politician and gay rights activist, and the first openly gay city supervisor of San Francisco
  • June Jordan, African-American bisexual political activist, writer, poet, essayist, and teacher
  • Julia Serano, American writer, spoken-word performer, trans-bi activist, and biologist
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, 2018 talk by Ashlee Marie Preston at TEDxPasadena