Who am I?
My name is Erin (aka Grishno) and I was the first transgender person to document their transition on YouTube. Today I manage the longest running YouTube series focused on Transgender issues. I do this work, and it is work, because I know it can make a difference in peoples lives.
I believe in a world beyond the gender binary, where Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming people are free to live authentic lives free from prejudice and fear. I have dedicated my life to making this world a reality, a work I hope you will join me in.
I was originally born and raised in small-town Utah. Raised as the oldest son in a Mormon family, I transitioned from male-to-female and moved to New York City at the age of 20. While there I began making YouTube video about my transition. I never set out to change the world, but my videos quickly found an audience, and have been featured in Rolling Stone Magazine, TV Guide, and The Advocate. My channel now boasts more than 10,000 subscribers, and has documented my transition for nearly 9 years. With over 5,000,000 views, I have been able to reach a world wide audience, supporting transgender people and education others about important issues facing the transgender community.
This online advocacy inspired me to get involved, and in 2010 I joined the staff of one of the largest Transgender Drop-In Centers in the United States. During my time as a Program Coordinator I provided one-on-one counseling, facilitated ongoing support groups, and provided free, on-site HIV testing. I presented our work at the Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference, Gender Spectrum, and the Gender Expansion Project. I led the first HIV testing program specifically targeting Transgender Women of Color in San Francisco, and presented the results of our year one study at the National Transgender Health Summit. In 2013, my contributions to the community, both online and in HIV prevention, were recognized in the Inaugural Trans 100 list.
It wasn't easy but, in 2013 with the support of family and friends, I returned to school to finish my college education. I began at a local Community College, where I got involved with the newly formed GSA. Together we successfully advocated for the schools first gender-neutral restroom, while I facilitated a bi-weekly support group for Transgender students. After completing my general education I transferred to Mills College, the first women's college to admit Transgender Women, with a generous scholarship from the Point Foundation. During my time at Mills, I have co-founded the Gender Splendor club, focused on creating space for diverse gender identities, and brought events such as Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) and Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) to campus. A fraction of my work was recently featured in the Huffington Post, and I was recognized with the Helen Carroll Award in LGBT Excellence for my work in raising Transgender awareness on campus.