Scholar Class – 2014
Erin Armstrong was born and raised in Utah and transitioned from male-to-female at the age of 20. After encountering rejection by her Mormon family and local community, in 2005 she moved to New York City. There, in an effort to find a transgender community, she began making YouTube videos about her transition. Erin was the first person to do this, and it started catching on. Now, the YouTube transgender community boasts tens of thousands of videos from all over the world. Erin's work has been featured in Rolling Stone Magazine, The L.A. Times, and The Advocate, and she was named to the inaugural Trans 100 list. Her videos have been viewed more than 5,000,000 times, and her video channel has more than 10,000 subscribers. Erin has been able to reach a worldwide audience, help support other transgender people, and educate cisgender people about the issues facing the transgender community.
In 2010, Erin brought her passion for the transgender community to San Francisco as Program Coordinator for Trans:Thrive, the largest transgender drop-in center in the country. She started and led the TransformSF Collaborative in 2011, a group of four HIV prevention non-profits that joined forces to test, treat, and prevent HIV in the transgender community. Erin has presented her work at the National Transgender Health Summit, the Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference, and the Gender Expansion Conference. She hopes to run her own non-profit focused on improving the lives of transgender people.