LGBTQ advocate organizes coat drive for transgender community members in need

Julisa Abad is collecting coats, Abad, the longtime activist and victim advocate for the transgender community - especially transgender women of color - doesn't want anyone left out in the cold.

"I just want them to feel included - particularly trans individuals that don't have families," she said.

This is the ninth year for team Abad's annual coat drive - she started it when she moved to Detroit - and saw so many in need.

"I did this because of the disparities that I faced and I saw the lack of help for my community," said Abad.

The discrimination trans people face from society and from their own families - is especially painful.

"Particularly trans women of color are displaced at astronomical ages - so a lot of them have to turn and do survival sex work or experience homelessness," she said. "So 60 percent of trans women experience homelessness - 40 percent are unemployed."

And while new laws help protect people from discrimination in housing and the workplace - the world can be a dangerous place for the transgender community.

Abad is usually interviewed by FOX 2 about violent crime.

"This is the first time in a really long time that it's not in relation to some trans individual being murdered," she said. "On June 1st we just had the death of Asia Davis and we're still actively working on that."

And also focusing on this - the coat drive and giveaway - coming up on December 16th.

LGBTQ activist and advocate Julisa Abad.

LGBTQ activist and advocate Julisa Abad.

Abad is collecting for both transgender men and women so new coats - gently used coats - scarves, gloves, socks - whatever will help keep them warm this winter.

"All of the things that people take for granted that they might not have," she said.

As she seeks to serve transgender women of color - she also wants everyone in the transgender community to know they are welcome.

"It's open to all transgender people," she said. "I don't care what race you are - I don't care how old you are - I don't care what your demographic is. if you need a winter coat and winter essentials and a hot meal - come out to see me December 16th at Menjo's - 928 West McNichols."

The goal is to collect 100 coats - to donate reach out to Julisa on social media or through email at

If you would like to also or instead donate money to the drive, go HERE for the GoFundMe page.

LGBTQ activist and advocate Julisa Abad.

LGBTQ activist and advocate Julisa Abad.