Nyla Foster – Midwest Leadership
Nyla Foster is a black transgender woman, entertainer, designer, and trans rights advocate. She has been living in her truth since the age of 14 and is well known within the Kansas City LGBTQIA community. Nyla entertains and competes in drag pageantry as “Angel Iman”, a stage persona she created in 2010. She is the Miss Missouri State 2017-18, Miss Black Trans Kansas 2017-18, a former Miss Kansas City Black Pride, and a former Miss Kansas City Gay Pride. Nyla is a former Project Coordinator & Advocate for the Kansas City Anti Violence Project (KCAVP), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing advocacy for LGBTQIA members who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, hate crime, and neglect. She has also worked as a Bridge Advocate for the Rose Brooks Center, an agency that provides emergency shelter to women and children escaping life-threatening abuse.
While working at KCAVP, Nyla stepped up to facilitate Kansas City’s first support group for Transgender People of Color. Under Nyla’s leadership and program development, The TPOC support group was transformed into the Kansas City Transgender Empowerment Program (KCTEP), a program open to all transgender and gender non-conforming people, focusing on access to the following needs: Healthcare, Legal Services, Employment, Education, and Safety.
Joining the leadership team of TWOCC ( Trans Women of Color Collective) in 2016, Nyla is working to advance the transgender community through the art of pageantry , health advocacy, and service. As an educator, she is strengthening the community through visibility and cultural competency to create social change. She continues to carve out safe spaces in the Midwest for transgender and gender non- conforming folks to receive support, access, and affirmation. .
In December 2017, Nyla received the ” Spirit of Pride Award” , presented by Camp Magazine and Hamburger Mary’s KC. She has shared her story on several media outlets and has worked collaboratively to coordinate many events in Kansas City : Channel 41 Kansas City Live!, KC Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015 & 2016, KC Transgender Day of Visibility 2016, Anti-Violence Picnic: International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia, In addition, she was featured in “I Am Not One Thing”, a short documentary film that highlights the identities and experiences of Trans and GNC people living in Kansas City.