DeeDee Chamblee is the executive director and founder of La Gender Inc., a non-profit organization led by African-American trans women that empowers, and lifts up the spirits of transgender woman of color in the metro Atlanta area. 

Ms. Chamblee is a survivor and advocate, living with HIV/AIDS for 25 years. Ms. Chamblee founded La Gender in 2001 to address the unigue needs of the transgender community surrounding issues such as HIV/AIDS, homelessness, incarceration, mental health wellness, discrimination and hate crime violence.

Ms. Chamblee was the first African-American trans woman to be honored by President Barack Obama, being selected as a "Champion of Change" during the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. 

Ms. Chamblee was featured in the National AIDS Memorial ‘Surviving Voices’ oral history project which helps ensure that stories and lessons of the AIDS epidemic are captured, curated, and retained for future generations. 

In 2019, the project explored the impact of the AIDS pandemic on the transgender community. The videos and interviews in this collection shed a light on the experiences of transgender women and men as well as non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals with HIV & AIDS. They also honor the contributions of the members of this community (both HIV+ and HIV-) to the fight against AIDS.

"I was tired of being disrespected. I was tired of people spitting on the sidewalk when they saw me. I was tired of people not acknowledging that I was a human being."

– DeeDee Ngozi Chamblee

40 years of stories

We share the important story of AIDS --

the fear, stigma and discrimination. We share the stories of hope, courage, compassion, and love.  And, we bring to light the harsh reality that four decades later, there is no cure and the rates of infection are on the rise, particularly in communities of color.

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Our work helps ensure that the lives of people who died from AIDS are not forgotten and the story of AIDS is known by future generations -
so that never again will a community be harmed because of fear, silence, discrimination, or stigma.