Community members everywhere are mourning the loss of transgender activist and religious leader Bobbie Jean Baker. Baker, 49, tragically died in a car crash on New Year’s Day.

Minister Bobbie Jean Baker

Minister Bobbie Jean Baker

“It’s a big community loss. She [was] huge in the African-American transgender community and the community at large,” said Tiffany Woods, the program coordinator at the Tri-City Health Center in Fremont, the only transgender program serving transgender women in Alameda County. “She was grooming the younger [generation] and mentoring them.”

A staunch advocate and role model, Baker worked with trans women overcoming substance abuse, homelessness and more. The Memphis native moved to the Bay Area in 1992 and later became an ordained minister at the City of Refuge United Church of Christ in San Francisco. She was the lead singer in the transgender group Transcendence Gospel Choir for a decade and was returning from a nighttime service when the crash happened.

The unfortunate incident is currently under investigation.

The ELIXHER team had the honor of meeting Bobbie Jean Baker at the 2012 TransFaith in Color Conference in Charlotte, NC. We are extremely saddened by this news.

A ceremony will be held in Baker’s honor Saturday, January 11 at 1 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Oakland, at 2501 Harrison Street.

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