Jasmine McKenzie – The Business Maven

Photo Courtesy of Jasmine McKenzie

Jasmine Mckenzie came to find her work in advocacy long before she knew the work had a name.

“The work started in 2008 in my home in Liberty City. I opened my doors to people who were in need. I didn’t know this is what advocacy work was — 17 people in a 2-bedroom house. That number grew to 35.”

As her new family — and their needs — grew, she relied on her entrepreneurial spirit. She founded Color N Raw in 2016 as a Black LGBTQ community-based modeling agency with a talent pool of 18. “It was about capturing beauty and creativity … Everyone was self-sufficient and living their lives.”

McKenzie’s next chapter, one where she would not compromise herself or her own goals, led to the creation of The McKenzie Project.

“It was supposed to be a shelter. I had to put some work and some time in,” efforts she saw as saving trans women by reducing the number of trans women engaging in sex work. “Now look at me. I’m a business woman. I have a lot of different stuff going on to bring in income.” 

Her empire grows with one ultimate purpose, to keep those under her care on a path of success. 

“Trans women are being murdered at a very alarming rate. I have 30-something children. If anything goes wrong, every one of those children has something they can keep going … No one else is doing the work for Black trans women,” she said. “I’m not talking about sitting on a board. I’m going to hotel rooms, I’m at the hospital by the bedsides … It goes unnoticed, but it’s always a trans girl that tells me ‘Thank you. You are a support system for me…’”


Homepage: OUT & PROUD 50 2023\


Phone: 954-514-7095
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Corrections: editorial@outsfl.com

2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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