• Tyree Oredein, DrPH

Happy #LGBTQHistoryMonth! Let’s make sure it’s as #intersectional as possible!


Tracey Gayle “Africa" Norman

Tracey Gayle “Africa" Norman is the first known prominent Black transgender female model. Originally from Newark, NJ, Tracey found her way to the pages of Essence, and Vogue Italia. In 1975 she appeared on the box of Clairol’s "Born Beautiful" hair color No. 512, Dark Auburn. She also signed an exclusive contract with Avon for one of their skincare lines. However, in 1980 while shooting for Essence, hairdresser André Douglas learned she is transgender and outed her to Susan Taylor on set which abruptly ended the shoot, and effectively ended her modeling career. Tracey moved to Paris where she was signed to Balenciaga but moved back to the US when the six-month contract ended. Unable to find work, she performed in burlesque peep shows, competed in the ballroom scene, and worked retail. In 2015 New York Magazine wrote about Tracey prompting Clairol to hire Tracey as the face of their 'Nice 'n Easy Color As Real As You Are' campaign, and said that the company was "honored to bring back Tracey Norman as a woman who no longer has to hide her truth." In 2016 Tracy and Geena Rocero became the first two openly transgender models to appear on the cover of a Harper’s Bazaar magazine. #LGBTQHistory #QTPOCHistory #TraceyNorman #Intersectionality

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©2020 by Tyree Oredein, DrPH.