Mj Rodriguez Uplifts Trans POC Health on ‘Kikis With Louie’ Premiere

By Sameer Rao Nov 29, 2018

Mj Rodriguez‘s starring role on FX’s “Pose,” as an HIV-positive transgender woman blazing a path in New York City’s ballroom scene, put her at the head of the largest LGBTQ cast in television history. She discusses the importance of representation and a health crisis that impacts the Black and Latinx LGBTQ community on the first episode of "Kikis With Louie," a new YouTube series that Advocates for Youth launched today (November 29). 

rntSeries host Louie Ortiz-Fonseca, who also works as the youth health advocacy organization’s director of LGBTQ health and rights, said in a statement that the show aims to equip LGBTQ children and young adults with useful information about their sexual and reproductive rights. 

“Unfortunately, we know many LGBTQ young people, especially youth of color, are left in the dark when they ask questions about sex, relationships and growing up,” he says. “The goal of the series is to equip LGBTQ young people with information, and make sure they know that they are deserving of safe, happy and healthy lives.”

“As someone who grew up Black and queer in rural Texas, I know first-hand that when you’re feeling isolated, witnessing a person who shares your lived experiences thriving can feel like necessary oxygen,” Lincoln Mondy, series director and senior manager of strategic projects at Advocates for Youth, adds in the same statement. “That’s why we created "Kikis with Louie," so that LGBTQ youth across the country can see people who look like them doing the necessary work to unpack stigma, identity, mental health and other topics that we’re often told to bury.”

The pair developed the series, which airs every other Thursday, in partnership with the MAC AIDS Foundation, the CDC Foundation and advocacy organizations aross six cities. Rodriguez kicks things off in New York City by discussing "Pose," the erasure of trans people of color from dominant LGBTQ narratives and the importance of LGBTQ perspectives in reproductive education. Future episodes will feature information on how to put on a condom, change a name and handle police encounters, plus conversations with guests including musician Shamir and model Laith Ashley.

The series debuts in conjunction with the launch of Advocates for Youth’s Engaging Communities Around HIV Organizing council and the 30th annual World AIDS Day tomorrow (December 1).