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Aaryn Lang


Aaryn Lang (Brooklyn, NY) is an Artist, Advocate, Writer, Public Speaker and Media Host who uses unwavering honesty to affirm the plight of black transgender people everywhere.

An Ohio native, Aaryn has played a vital part in solidifying and strengthening social justice movements in the United States. From co-founding the Ohio branch of the Trans Women of Color Collective— to working in partnership with the budding Black Lives Matter movement, Aaryn has consistently challenged local and national organizing spaces on their failings of the black transgender community. She has educated medical professionals on how to respectfully serve all transgender people, and ultimately carved a new space for black, queer, and trans organizing in Ohio and across the nation.

Since relocating to New York City, Aaryn has continued fortifying her praxis. She organized the First National Day of Action for Black Trans Women, catalyzing the Black Lives Matter network across the nation to proactively combat the uptick in violence against the Black transgender community. In her role as the Movement Building and Campaign Manager of GetEQUAL, Aaryn launched 30 Days of Trans Resilience: a digital campaign highlighting the work of 30 living trans freedom fighters. Additionally, she mobilized a national day of action for The Black Pride 4: a group of activists brutally arrested for halting Columbus Pride to highlight anti-blackness within Ohio’s LGBT community. This prompted demonstrations in Ohio, Washington DC, NYC, as well as Florida.

In conjunction with her movement service, Aaryn has advanced her work creatively— Publishing pieces in Very Smart Brothas, them., Cosmopolitan, as well as being featured in HuffPost, Mic, Allure, and more. In collaboration with Barnard college, Aaryn co-wrote a PSA equipping people with intervention strategies to defend against white-supremacist attacks following President 45’s inauguration. Most notably, Aaryn hosted the NY Emmy-Nominated PBS series First Person, an interview style series highlighting LGBT stories through intimate portraits of everyday life. Aaryn’s commitment to simplifying challenging social constructs while holding our collective failures with grace has opened the door for various speaking engagements. She has been welcomed to speak on panels, at conferences, and universities such as The White House, Slayfest, Vice, The Claremont Colleges, Columbia, The Ohio State University, University of Kentucky, and more.

At the core of Aaryn’s work is a desire to live in a world where all black people are able to live and thrive without fear of violence or lack, wielding her voice to usher that new world forward. When Aaryn isn’t shifting paradigms or toppling transphobic institutions, she is reconnecting with her love for visual arts and teaching herself photography while parenting her mischievous cat-baby, Shango.

My Speakers Sessions

Friday, May 31

9:10am EDT