By Jayce Tyler
Inspired by parent organization Save Our Sisters United, Save Our Sons and Brothers, or SOSB, is a new Houston-based organization and social network open to trans men and transmasculine people of color. “SOSB looks at the survival and empowerment of our sons and brothers with a holistic view,” the group says. “Thus, we strive to address the social, emotional, financial, physical, and medical needs of the transmasculine people of color within our community.”
SOSB aims to create a space for sharing experiences, resources, and the opportunity to exist as one’s authentic self. Behind this mission are the organization’s founders—Dane Ashton, Kai Jones, René Mendiola, and Jordyn Stevenson.
Dane Ashton is a biracial Mexican American trans man studying psychology. He first began his transition in June of 2015 (the same day marriage equality was legalized, to be exact). He has volunteered with Gender Infinity and the Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit, and currently works at the University of Houston’s LGBTQ Resource Center. As part of SOSB, Ashton looks forward to helping community members who are dealing with housing and food insecurities, as well as to hosting community building events where everyone feels welcome.
Founder Kai Jones is a trans man of African American and Dominican descent, as well as a veteran of the U.S. Navy. Inspired by his childhood passions, Jones is actively pursuing a degree in video game programming and Japanese linguistics. Jones, a current AmeriCorps employee, hopes to bring his passion for helping others to his SOSB membership.
René Mendiola is a Latinx trans man native to north Houston. In his undergraduate career, Mendiola was active with the University of Houston’s LGBTQ Resource Center as the facilitator of the Queer & Trans People of Color (QTPOC) disussion group, and as an ambassador of the Sexuality and Gender Acceptance Squad (SAGA Squad). In his spare time, Mendiola’s interests include cats, interior design, and video games. He looks forward to bringing his experience working with the trans community to this new venture.
Jordyn Stevenson is a trans man “born and raised in the Houston heat.” Stevenson began his transition in the summer of 2018, shortly after his 21st birthday. Relatively new to the trans POC community, Stevenson is looking forward to building community through SOSB. When not procrastinating, you can find Stevenson working on DIY projects or hanging with his friends.
SOSB hopes to achieve its mission of empowering the city’s trans men of color by holding discussions related to the transmasculine experience, engaging in social and recreational hangouts, offering opportunities for personal and professional development, and fundraising to assist community members with gender-affirming surgeries, legal aid, healthcare, and other basic needs.