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Aurora Higgs, M.Ed. Scholar. Speaker. Taboo-Enthusiast.

Aurora Higgs is a queer Black trans visionary from Richmond, Virginia. She’s a speaker, performer, and media producer who uses her platform to promote equity and elevate queer BIPOC voices.

As a member of the Board of Directors for the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood, Aurora helps shape medical practice guidelines and protocols to better ensure the transgender policies are appropriate, progressive, and compassionate.

Aurora is a speaker and facilitator focusing on social justice, gender and sexuality studies, education and DEI work. She has facilitated queer-affirming programming and training for state agencies like the Virginia Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services. She has spoken on panels of national and international organizations like She the People and Unite UK.

Aurora is an activist in her own community; she has worked with Delegate Danica Roem to pass trans-affirming legislation at the state level. She has also been featured in publications like Richmond Times Dispatch, and was named one of Richmond's Top 40 Under 40, by the Richmond Style Weekly.

Aurora is currently obtaining a doctorate degree in interdisciplinary media studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her scholarship focuses on the relationship trans people of color have with media and "the archive". She believes that art and digital media can open the public’s consciousness to speculate about worlds beyond our own.

Aurora unapologetically integrates her art with her academic study. As a burlesque performer, she employs the classically effeminate art form to expand the audience's idea of femininity. As a Black transgender woman, taboo has always surrounded her identity. Aurora leverages and re-conceptualizes the nature of “the taboo” to foster generative discourse about identity, sexuality, gender, performance, and new epistemologies.

Resumé of Service

Facilitations, Activism, and Appearances

Facilitated "Mental Health from a Trans Perspective" Seminar, Virginia Department of Behavioral And Developmental Services

Performed in the short film, "Everyday Black Matter", Directed and written by Dr. Chaz Barracks

Testified on behalf of Virginia House Bill 1429 (passed 2020), Virginia General Assembly

Honored as an Agent of Change for the Centennial Celebration of Women's Suffrage, Virginia Museum of History and Culture

Panels, Lectures, & Hostings

LGBTQ+ Violence Panelist, Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance, November 2020

Panelist, RSPI@VCU Negative Space “unConference”, November 2020

Keynote Lecturer, Equality Virginia TIES conference, October 2020

Keynote Lecturer, Planned Parenthood Y’all Means All Conference October 2020

Panelist, Regis College School of Social Work Social Justice Panel, September 2020

Panelist, Women Working for Equality 1920-2020, Virginia Governor’s Office, August 2020

Panelist, Equality Virginia’s Day of Action, February 2020

Ask A Trans Person, Equality Virginia, December 2019

Host & MC, Virginia Pride Festival, September 2019

Panelist, She the People Virginia Town Hall Meeting, May 2019

Moderator, Trans Lives and Public Policy Forum, VCU, March 2019

Panelist, Health Equity in Action Panel, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, February 2019

Panelist, Black Mental Health Panel Virginia, Department of Health, February 2019

Panelist, LGBTQ Safety On-and-Off Campus, VCU, October 2018

Panelist, Trans Lives and Public Policy Forum, VCU, March 2018

Aurora works with the Virginia Values Coalition to advocate for LGBTQIA+ laws at the state level

Past Partners

Archive of Werrrk

Aurora was nominated as one of Richmond Style Weekly's Top 40 under 40

Article: Making a Difference: Aurora Higgs, a Black trans activist, has spent the pandemic helping her neighbors survive the virus

Aurora was a commencement speaker at the RVA Black Stonewall March, June 27th, 2020

Aurora helping lead the Say Her Name march in 2020

Aurora guest stars on the Open Sesame Podcast, Episode 7

Aurora participated in the campaign for Wildly Free Beauty's launch of their Genderly Multi-Balm

Aurora speaking at an abolition rally

Aurora is a Black trans femme who models, creates content, and speaks publicly as acts of revolutionary visibility