Like you or someone you know, Human Rights activist and public speaker Zayn Silva has had to defeat society’s norms and ‘come out’ and explain his identity to friends, family, and loved ones. Is it okay to be LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender)? Is the transgender and LGB community the same thing? Does the community really have to explain itself? Is there a better way to go about any of this?

As part of the small percentage of LGB(T) members who are religious, Zayn uses his life story to connect to a diverse range of people, displaying the possibility of unity between all groups. Using his 5-plus years of experience coaching youth, public speaking, being an activist, and living more than 8 years of his life ‘out’ as a trans male, Zayn mentors, listens and shares his experiences with LGB and T youth across the United States by visiting schools and events to speak openly on LGB(T) issues. He uses his online project TransAlike to donate essentials to trans youth in need all over the world.

Zayn has also spoken at New York’s Trans Day of Action, hosted online groups, and acted as a mentor for the Gender Spectrum and Happy Hippies Foundation, all of which have given him the opportunity to work with people of all ages and identities. He has also been a guest speaker at high schools in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Ohio. Zayn is coming to a city near you to continue his outreach to parents, students, teachers, and others to educate them on the LGB(T) community, how we can create more safe spaces, and how to become effective allies.