We had the good fortune of connecting with Nevaeh Anderson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nevaeh, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I have worked in HIV for almost 12 years now, and to be quite frank, I have never saw someone who looked like me in leadership roles when it came to Transgender specific programs and events; imaging being recruited by a Community Based Organization, being told “Only you can help us better the lives of Transgender women” just to be met with barriers, lack of resources, sabotage, and gaslighting.

When I lived in Denver, I can honestly say that this was my experience. This has always been my experience growing up, but it has manifested itself to the point where people where actively upholding white supremacy through institutionalized discrimination; participating in panels for free and doing general advocacy work with an empty glass, I was often asked “What can I do to help Black Transgender people?” I would tell them and surprise, no progress. Then the question would pop up AGAIN from the same person.

Long story short, I was tired of the passive aggressiveness, and the excuses. After doing my first pilot training for the CDC behavioral health intervention TWIST (Transgender Women Involved in Strategies for Transformation), that gave me the confidence to do my own trainings. That’s when SimplyVee LLC. was created. What I do is give companies and individuals information breaking down complexities around gender, race, and sexuality; I also assist organizations to hold themselves accountable for their part in dismantling an unjust system and what it would look like for their organization to promote and implement equity.

In short: SimplyVee LLC. was birthed because it was something that I needed entering this field; my goal is to make things easier for the next Black Trans or GNC individuals coming up in the world.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I have worked in HIV prevention since 2011; I was still in college and I just changed my minor to Women’s Studies. I knew I wanted to do something with that minor so when I was invited to do a presentation for a Black Health’s conference in Denver, I decided to ask for an internship; I was offered a job.

Although I done some good work, I can say that I was met with obstacles that I was in no way prepared for. I didn’t have the tools that I needed, so I navigated a rigged game the best way I can. I didn’t realize how rigged the game was before I worked in the Cannabis industry.

While working at a dispensary, I experienced misogynoir and transphobia from customers, co workers, and management. It was very much a “boys club” when it came to how the industry was ran, as well as who was allowed to benefit from it. I can honestly say that was the first time I have seen institutionalized racism work in real time.

After my experience with my last job, I decided that if I was going to have to be the one to keep educating people that I will not do it for free. When you understand emotional and mental labor, you understand what you bring to the table; this was my biggest aha moment. Since then, I have held trainings for my last employer as well as other places, participated in panels, wrote articles, and presented at national conferences.

I want the world to know that our society is changing so everyone can have a seat at the table. The reality of the situation is that Sexual and Gender diverse individuals have always existed the same way different races and ethnicities have existed; you don’t get to have an opinion on someone’s existence just because it’s a different life experience than yours. If you’re in a place where it’s hard for you to comprehend, that’s okay. However, to be disrespectful and harmful with words or intentions because you’re uncomfortable isn’t just counterproductive, it’s dangerous and it creates another barrier for progression and true equality.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
So in my year of being here, my schedule would go as following:

Monday: a trip to Piedmont Park to soak up the sun and check out the beautiful park, with a trip to Six Feet Under for dinner

Tuesday: $10 Tuesday at Pink Poles Dance Studio (aka Tha Pynk)

Wednesday: A trip to Juicy Crab and then Happy Hour at Bulldogs

Thursday: Shopping at Atlantic Station, and bar hopping around Midtown

Friday: Drag Night at Midtown Moon

Saturday: Another round at Pink Poles Dance Studio and later that night check out a ball

Sunday: Brunch at Virgil’s

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to take this time to thank everyone who has pushed me and guided me to get to this next step!

I want to thank Imani Latif. Although we are not on the best of terms, I have learned a lot about HIV prevention and racial equity through her agency; I can also say that I learned a lot of life lessons from her that is invaluable and has molded me to the woman that I am today.

I also want to thank Dana Williams for believing in me to take my skills to the next level and aligned me to work on a national level with TWIST. I also want to give love to my fellow TWIST sisters: Tori Cooper, Octavia Lewis, Tatyana Moaton, Carmarion Anderson, Kelly Stevens, Dr. Arlene Edwards, Dr. Chezia, Christina, and all of the TWIST participants.

The few friends I have in Denver, thank you for pushing me to be a better person and advocating for me!

Tara Jae, Andrew Richardson, Jessie Read, Cagzmier Jumper, Marquita Brown, Corinthiah Brown, and John Williams, thank you for being amazing human beings to me.

I want to thank Denver Health for my first workshop!

Thank you to my new friends I made in Atlanta.

And a special shoutout to Derrick (Tonka Garcon) Ford; you have really impacted my life in the most positive way, and you are worth every good thing you get in this lifetime and many more.

Facebook: Nevaeh Anderson or SimplyVee LLC.

Other: simplyveeconsults@gmail.com

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