Ep 5: Lorrainne Sade Baskerville - Joy, Survival, Legacy

“I did not come out of the closet. I stepped out on the scene.”


A look inside Lorrainne's archival collection at Gerber/Hart

Lorrainne Sade Baskerville is a Black trans woman who founded Chicago’s first trans-run, trans-serving social agency called transGenesis.

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Lorrainne Sade Baskerville


“I wanted to name my agency transGenesis. Genesis in the Bible means ‘a new beginning.’”

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Transgenesis bookmarks with contact information

Between 1995-2003, Transgenesis offered a number of services for Chicago's transgender community, including street and community outreach, education, social support, counseling, and a HIV prevention program called T-PASS (Trans People Advocating Safer Sex). 

During Lorrainne's time in Chicago, she served on the boards of the Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN) and the Chicago Police Department’s 23rd District Gay and Lesbian Advisory Group.

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Lorrainne on the cover of Fall 2001 issue of Transgender Tapestry

Bringing transGenesis to life was Lorrainne’s dream, and its impact on Chicago’s trans community remains part of her legacy. 

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HIV-prevention palm card created (and posed for) by Lorrainne Sade Baskerville. The card was produced by T-PASS, a prevention program of Transgenesis, entitled "Safe Sex Recommendations for the True Diva." The card was Chicago's first HIV-prevention palm card that specifically focused on the city's transgender community.


A few of the many awards from Lorrainne's archival collection. In 2000, Lorrainne was inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame.

In this episode Lorrainne shares her story with Gerber/Hart, many years after donating her collection to our archive. Her incredible collection of awards, transGenesis ephemera, and artwork sparked the interest of many volunteers, including archivist Whit Sadusky and Gerber/Hart Programs and Social Media Coordinator Jennifer Dentel. Listen to them discuss the importance of outreach and diversity in archival collections.

“I want to be known around the world: yes, yes, yes.”

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Lorrainne with RuPaul at a book signing

Want to learn more?

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Listen in on April 5, 2022 to learn more!