Volunteer Voices: TransActive’s Lissy Richards

Lissy Richards TransActive
Lissy Richards, left, dressed up as Catwoman for TransActive Education and Advocacy’s annual SuperHeroes for SuperKids fundraiser. Photo by Jules Garza.


By Dede Desperate, PQ Monthly


Lissy Richards is a true leader in our LGBTQ community and in Portland. I met Lissy more than two years at Q Center as a fellow volunteer. I’ve had the privilege of watching Lissy navigate through school, work, volunteerism, and always staying active within the LGBTQ community. Lissy has been someone I liked as a new comrade, then a partner in volunteer coordination at Q Center, and now as an active member of TransActive.

I asked my fellow volunteer warrior a few questions about her experiences as a TransActive volunteer — here’s what she had to say.

PQ: What is your name and preferred pronouns?

Richards: My name is Lissy Richards and I prefer she/her/Lissy. Thanks for asking!

PQ: What is your volunteer place, where is it, and what does it do for the community?

Richards: I volunteer at TransActive Education & Advocacy. TransActive provides necessary support to improve the quality of life of transgender and gender non-conforming children, youth, and their families through client services, education, advocacy, and research. The ages of our youth vary greatly, but they must be under the age of 21. Our organization has a confidential location in order to maintain a safe space for the clients we serve.

PQ: What do you do at the organization?

Richards: I’m a social work practicum intern at TransActive. I provide play therapy for children to express their gender in a supportive atmosphere, as well as facilitate two support groups for trans youth. Additionally, I lead community trainings on developmental milestones, issues, and strengths of trans youth and their rights under Title IX, Oregon Equality Act, and Oregon Safe Schools Act.

PQ: Why do think volunteerism is important and are their opportunities for people to come and donate at TransActive?

Richards: Our community would not thrive without volunteers! As a member of the community or as an ally, I believe it is everyone’s duty to work to ensure that social justice is reached and oppression is eradicated!

TransActive welcomes those who are passionate about trans youth to complete a volunteer application.

Opportunities to donate are located on the side bar of our website. We are especially looking for people to donate binders or money to our In a Bind program.

Lissy has made see what one person can acomplish for so many and how many people can be positively affected by one volunteer’s dedication. But I know she’s not the only one. I want to hear from you and your local super human volunteers. Know someone I should interview? Send me an email.

DedeThumbnail2Dede Desperate is a volunteer, worker, student, mastiff owner, and dance feind who ocassionally uses their power for the good of the community. Email the princess of disgust turned depeserate for change at dede@pqmonthly.com.