Jaci Adams

December 12, 1957 - February 15, 2014—Note this profile is still being updated.


Jaci Adams was a longtime leader and advocate in the Philadelphia LGBT community before she lost her struggle with cancer in 2014. Adams (affectionately called Miss Jaci) intimately knew the challenges faced by her community, coming up herself through poverty, abuse and incarceration to become an activist and mentor to others who were struggling against system injustice. Adams openly spoke about her biography, acting and speaking toward creating more just systems. She was a long-term volunteer with the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania and helped coordinate volunteers and educate others on HIV and transgender awareness. She served as a member of the Morris Home Planning Committee (Morris Home was named for fellow trans activist and inspiration Nizah Morris who was murdered in 2002) and the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference Planning Committee. She was a founding member of the Temple University Community Advisory Board and founded the People with Hope Trans Conference in 2004. Adams was a member of the Philadelphia Police Liaison Committee, acted as an advisor to the City of Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs, served on the board of the LGBT Elder Initiative and the board of The God Environment, and volunteered with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Youth Aid Panel and the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund. In 2012, she was named runner-up person of the year by Philadelphia Gay News. The following year, Adams was named to POZ 100’s list of unsung heroes, honored with an Elixir Activist Award by the Mazzoni Center and given Philly Pride’s first OutProud Transgender Award, which has been renamed in her honor.

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