Skip directly to content

BreakOUT! Celebrates the Life of Core Member Leader, Diamond D'Maree

on Tue, 06/30/2015 - 15:24

Diamonds Are Forever

It is with great sadness that we write to our community and supporters today to let you know that BreakOUT! has experienced another great loss, the death of one of our Core Member Leaders, Diamond D’Maree.
Diamond died on Saturday, June 27 at her home surrounded by close family and friends, with BreakOUT! flyers scattered across her floor and a leftover protest sign that read Dignidad.
In addition to being a daughter, sister, cousin, mother, and friend to so many, Diamond was also a leader in our community.  Through the Posh Academy, Diamond was working to achieve her HiSET and was also a part of the first Building Our Power Institute cohort where she refined her organizing skills.  She rallied with BreakOUT!

Queer and Trans Youth of Color Say NO MORE YOUTH PRISON BEDS!

on Wed, 06/10/2015 - 14:41


Did you know that at least 20% of youth in Louisiana's juvenile detention centers are LGBTQ??

Yesterday, the Senate approved a version of the state’s general operating budget that restores $3.5 million for the Office of Juvenile Justice to open an utterly unneeded new juvenile prison!  Today, the House will consider whether to concur in the Senate’s budget.  PLEASE CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TODAY TO TELL THEM TO VOTE NO.  

If the House does not concur, a conference committee will meet to try to come to a compromise.  PLEASE CONTACT THE HOUSE AND SENATE LEADERS who will likely be on that committee to tell them to use your money wisely -- for services that youth actually need!

The Backstory

The Jindal Administration proposed $3.5 million in

BreakOUT!'s "We Deserve Better" Report Findings Brought to Geneva Hearing on Human Rights

on Sun, 05/17/2015 - 21:06

In October 2014, BreakOUT! participated in human rights hearings in New Orleans with the U.S. Human Rights Network, along with New Orleans' organizations New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice (NOWCRJ), Congress of Day Laborers, VOTE, Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, Survivors Village, Public Interest Law & Advocacy Resource of Coastal Louisiana (PILAR), Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), VAYLA, and Women with a Vision.

Now, the U.S. Human Rights Network (USHRN) has compiled the information into a report, Testimonies of Human Rights at Home: Documenting Injustice in the United States.  The report and testimony findings were presented in Geneva for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United States, which also included data from

BreakOUT! Celebrates #40ToNoneDay With Passage of LGBTQ-Affirming Policy at City's Only Youth Shelter

on Wed, 04/29/2015 - 14:53

BreakOUT! members long ago recognized that transgender, gender non-conforming, and queer youth of color experience high rates of homelessness in New Orleans (and make up between 40-50% of homeless youth nationwide), leading to increased criminalization through “quality of life” policing, curfew laws, and actual or perceived involvement in survival crimes or street economies.

In fact, in 2014 BreakOUT! released a report called We Deserve Better: A report about policing in New Orleans by and for queer and trans youth of color, in which LGBTQ youth were surveyed about their experiences with policing in New Orleans. When asked the question “What would make LGBTQ youth safer in New Orleans?” 59% of LGBTQ youth surveyed identified housing as a priority for a safer New Orleans, followed by education at 47%. (72% identified jobs as the answer while only 16% responded solving crime and more police.)

File Attachment: 


on Wed, 04/22/2015 - 13:36

LGBTQ youth take lack of local media coverage into own hands

In just under three months in the beginning of 2015, at least 10 transgender women were murdered in the U.S., mostly transgender women of color.  Several other gender non-conforming and queer people of color were also killed, including Jessie Hernandez, killed by the Denver police.  Shortly following, the nation saw a rash of suicides by transgender young men of color.  And just a few weeks ago, New Orleans lost another Black transgender woman to an illegal silicone injection.

According the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, transgender women of color were the majority (72%) of victims of reporting hate violence in 2013 and 7x more likely to experience police violence and physical violence from police.

Of those

"Say My Name, Say My Name: Stories of LGBTQ Youth from New Orleans" Comes Home, May 22-23rd!

on Wed, 04/15/2015 - 14:36

BreakOUT!'s theatrical performance with Ping Chong + Company, Say My Name, Say My Name: Stories of LGBTQ Youth from New Orleans will be performed in New Orleans at the Ashe Powerhouse on May 22-23rd.

Don't miss the first time we will perform in New Orleans!  Written and directed by Sara Zatz and Mieke D, Say My Name, Say My Name shares the powerful real-life stories of 5 Black transgender young women growing up against the backdrop of New Orleans, incarceration capital of the world, and the fierce power of self-identification.

Reserve your tickets now using the link below.  Contact Nate Faulk for more info!




on Wed, 04/15/2015 - 13:26

Join us April 24, 2015 for New Orleans' very first youth-led Trans March!

Meet at 3:15pm (march steps off promptly at 3:30pm) at corner of Ursulines and N. Claiborne this Friday.  Press conference and community gathering to follow at Ursulines and N. Claiborne at 4:30pm.

Open to people of all gender identities, expressions, and experience, NOLA Trans March is not a demonstration but rather, a revolutionary movement. 

Take a stand against the hate, social injustice, and inequality faced by trans, gender variant, gender queer, and gender non-conforming (T|GV|GQ|GNC) communities.

File Attachment: 

BreakOUT! Joins Amicus in Solidarity with Undocumented Communities

on Wed, 04/08/2015 - 02:28


(Above: BreakOUT! members and Congreso members after Vice to ICE "Culture Clash," February 2015)

President Obama’s immigration actions would allow millions of immigrants to apply for relief from deportation and work authorization and would improve the nation’s economy and society, charged civil and immigrants’ rights groups in an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief filed today. This brief was one of several in support of the Obama administration’s immigration actions, which economists predict will raise the GDP by more than $200 billion over the next ten years. 

"BreakOUT! joined the amicus because of our history

File Attachment: 

BreakOUT! Launches Media Campaign to #MakePennyProud

on Thu, 03/05/2015 - 03:38

We're kicking off #MakePennyProud and our #BlackTransLivesMatter campaign with a Twitter Rally on Friday, March 6th at 1pm CST // 2pm EST.

Join us on Twitter using hashtags #MakePennyProud and #BlackTransLivesMatter and stay tuned for more BIG announcements in our media campaign!

Thank you, Erin Wilson, for the beautiful portrait of Penny!


UPDATE:  Here's our Tagboard and our Storify from our #MakePennyProud Twitter Rally!

*BREAKING* Statement from BreakOUT! on Death of Black Transgender Youth in New Orleans

on Tue, 02/10/2015 - 21:39


In Life and In Death, We Are All Survivors



BreakOUT! has just heard of the death of another community member in New Orleans, Penny Proud, the night of February 9th, 2015.  While we mourn the loss of yet another member in our community, we are reminded how important it is to affirm the value of Black transgender lives, and one another.

Unfortunately, as violence against transgender women of color is so rampant, BreakOUT! was already in the process of releasing a statement called #BlackTransLivesMatter when we heard the news.

Below is an excerpt from that statement:
When the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2015, many people were hopeful for a year of change.