The Center For Black Trans Thought is an online platform committed to improving Black trans and gender nonconforming peoples’ access to higher education. Victor Ultra Omni founded the Center for Black Trans Thought in the Summer of 2018. While in undergraduate Victor received the Posse Foundation full-tuition leadership scholarship to Hamilton College. However for safety reasons, after experiencing extreme transphobia and anti-Black racism which lead to death threats, they transferred to Pitzer College: a part of the Claremont Colleges. While in undergraduate Victor received support from women of color faculty like Dr. Maryan Soliman, Dr. Laura Harris, and Dr. Piya Chatterjee. However, Victor still experienced extreme cases of Black trans misogynoir in college. While attending an elite private college, Victor navigated tokenism, survivors guilt, hate crimes, discrimination, and other abuses inside of academia. Victor hopes to connect Black trans people isolated in the ivory tower, help create pipeline programs for Black trans youth, help fight for colleges to fund scholarships for Black trans people, and imagine new forms of collective thrival (thriving and surviving). In the spring of 2019, Mx. Ultra Omni received their Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies with highest honors (3.9/4.0 overall GPA), and has received an acceptance to a Ph.D. program in Gender and Women’s Studies.
Academia has only a handful of Black trans and gender nonconforming people. A few Black masculine of center, trans masculine, and trans men have their Ph.Ds and tenure track positions. However, very few Black trans women have their Ph.D or access to Ph.D. programs. Formerly incarcerated, homeless, and positive Black trans people must be included within Academia. Epistemic injustice has deprived academia of Black trans voices for far too long. The Center for Black Trans Thought is a website to elevate Black trans brilliance and build community.
Victor Ultra Omni is a Mellon Mays fellow and Bachelors of Arts candidate in the intercollegiate department of Africana Studies at the Claremont Colleges. They are the Overall fatha of one the original New York City voguing houses– the iconic and pioneering house of Ultra Omni. Victor performs in the categories of realness at vogue balls across the country. In their honors undergraduate thesis Victor draws upon Black marxism, ethnography, visual culture, and oral history to theorize a counter historiography of the 1980s ballroom scene in New York City. Specifically, Victor is interested in the politics and technologies of survival employed by Black trans people to survive the HIV/AIDS and housing crises. More broadly, Victor is interested in shaping the emerging field of Black Trans Studies.This research began and is continuously informed through their work as an organizer in struggles for reproductive justice, Black emancipation, and transgender liberation. Victor is the assistant and future managing editor of Duke University Press’ Transgender Studies Quarterly (TSQ). Their writing has been featured in the Journal of School & Society, Truth Out, and in the forthcoming anthology Black Trans Love is Black Trans Wealth. In 2018, Victor began the Center for Black Trans Though to address the epistemic injustice which excludes, appropriates, and erases Black trans presence in Academia.