Each week KindaKind will feature a badass who is putting their passion to a purpose and doing something great for the world.
This week’s Kind Badass is Mia Satya: Educator, Advocate, and Public Speaker.
Mia “Tu Mutch” Satya grew up in rural Texas and as she blossomed into a trans woman she fled to San Francisco to find community, but first she experienced homelessness, discrimination, unemployment, and violence. Mia Tu Mutch, is a trailblazing community organizer, LGBTQ cultural humility trainer, community based researcher, policy analyst and multitask master with over a decade of advocacy experience specializing in youth empowerment, economic justice, affordable housing, and LGBTQ+ liberation.
All of that and more... plus she's a total kind badass.
What is your passion?
I have always had a fiery passion for helping people and making the world a better place. At 10 years old I was the kid who told my science teacher that I couldn’t participate in dissection because of my deeply held religious beliefs that all life is sacred and at 12 I was collecting petitions to stop the annual seal slaughter in Canada. Now I have over a decade of advocacy experience specializing in youth empowerment, economic justice, affordable housing, and LGBTQ+ liberation.
How are you putting your passion to a purpose?
Now I bridge my personal and professional experiences to catalyze coalitions, propose policies, and secure sustainable solutions that make San Francisco a more equitable city. I’m currently the Director of Youth Engagement at Transitional Age Youth San Francisco. TAYSF provides platforms for young people to engage in conversations with City Departments and elected officials to inform policy decisions that impact their lives. We believe youth most impacted by poverty, violence, homelessness, and other obstacles are the experts on their own experiences. Youth should be given a seat at the table and a voice in the political process. I recently launched All Out: the LGBTQ+ Political Pipeline to inspire, educate, and connect youth to create change! I’m all out of patience waiting for “LGBT equality” to come rolling in on the “wheels of inevitability” as Martin Luther King Jr said. All Out is working to get more LGBTQ people appointed and elected to public office by training and mentoring youth who are committed to making their communities more equitable. I have been extremely fortunate to participate in over a dozen leadership programs and the message I’ve received in this capitalist system is “get all you can, then sit on the can so one else can get it.” I believe all of our liberation is linked together, that I can’t win unless my community wins so I started All Out to pay it forward to a younger generation. I’m so excited to be able to bring these youth together to share resources, networks, and strategies that will have monumental personal and community-wide impacts.
How did you get started?
I learned how to successfully advocate for myself as a visibly queer kid in the rural south. I organized a Day of Silence at my school to raise awareness on LGBTQ bullying and I was told by the principal that we would “cause a distraction that would inhibit learning.” The fact that I was bullied, harassed and assaulted regularly wasn’t a distraction? After the school threatened to suspend me, I got Lambda Legal to send a threatening email which promptly got the administration to apologize and allow us to exercise our first amendment rights of freedom of speech (or in this case intentional silence). I quickly learned if I wasn’t going to fight for me, who would?
Why do you do it?
I can’t NOT fight for justice. Indifference kills. In a time of ever growing wealth inequality and pervasive violence against marginalized communities I can not remain silent. I will keep advocating for equity and accountability until “justice for all” becomes a reality in the U.S. and throughout the world.
Favorite thing about what you do?
I love working on policies that people say “yeah right, that’s never going to happen.” I worked on the campaign to reauthorize the Children’s Fund and Public Education Enrichment Fund (PEEF) because I was passionate about expanding the legislation to include Transitional Age Youth (TAY). At the time, the department did not serve any youth after 18, and I believe there should be a dedicated source of funding to support second chances for our 18-24 year olds who have faced substantial barriers including being LGBTQ, disabled, undocumented, or youth who have experienced homelessness, incarceration, or foster care. Politicians fought against the inclusion of TAY, but with community support we won! The Children’s Fund and PEEF now provides over $150 million a year in services for youth!!!
How can others help?
I just launched All Out: the LGBTQ+ Political Pipeline in January and we are still operating without funding, so we rely entirely volunteers and in-kind donations. If you want to support our work to train the next generation of civically engaged LGBTQ leaders 1) Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, then tell your friends 2) Reach out if you can donate food for our next event. We always need volunteers whether it be as a mentor, or for assistance with graphic design and grant writing.
Who are your heroes?
I am moved by the leadership of resilient women leaders who have beat the odds and changed the world including young women like Malalala Yousefzai who survived an assassination attempt, but refused to stop fighting for a woman’s right to education. I am continuously inspired by trans women pioneers who have paved the way for my generation including Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Miss Major, Felicia Flames, Kate Bornstein, Cecilia Chung, Theresa Sparks, and Tita Aida just to name a few. If trans people had proportional representation in government there would be over 6,000 trans elected officials in the United States and we don’t even have 6! As a trans woman in politics I am motivated by the leadership of the exceedingly small group of trans elected officials in the United States like Victoria Kolakowski and Kim Coco Iwamoto and internationally by women including Georgina Beyer (New Zealand), Yollada "Nok" Suanyot (Thailand), and Geraldine Roman (Philippines).
If you were a superhero, what would be your superpower?
I want the ability to speak and understand every language so that I can be friends with everyone! Oh and also the ability to replicate so that I can attend multiple meetings at the same time.
What is your favorite non-profit organization or cause?
One new agency that deserves more attention is TAJA’s Coalition that was founded by trans women of color and their allies in response to the murder of Taja Gabrielle de Jesus. The mission of TAJAs Coalition is to end the genocide against trans women of color, and because 2016 has been the most violent year recorded for trans people, TAJA’s Coalition is much needed. Anti-trans legislation is popping up across the country and that contributes to a rise in trans hate crimes and trans suicides. I’ve been a supporter of the organization from the beginning and I was happy to work with other trans leaders to secure City funding. I know that under the leadership of their new Executive Director, Lexi Adsit they will continue to make strides towards creating a world where all trans people can survive and thrive.
Who else should be a kind badass of the week?
Stephany Joy Ashley - she has the biggest heart. And, Janetta Johnson - director of TGI Justice EdianBlair Schofield- my mentee who fights for racial and LGBTQ justice They are all my friends on FB