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Meet Travis Crown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Travis Crown.

Travis, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up as a teenager, there was a lot of “discovering” of who I was as a person. It’s a part of life that can be very confusing of what you thought was just a phase, is now apart of your identity. When my family found out I was gay, they disowned me at the age of 18.

They wrote on a signed document that I was no longer apart of this family and if I stepped foot on the property they would call the police because I was trespassing. The last words from my mother were “You will be dead in two years and if you become anything in life, you’ll be a pornstar”. Ever since I came to LA, it has been my mission to prove that statement wrong. I told myself that no one, not even my own mother, could depict my future. I am the only person in control of my destiny and my dreams. However, when I first came to Los Angeles, it didn’t feel that way. The tourist in me was freaking out, seeing all the palm trees and having a sense of peace knowing that I am thousands of miles away from the people that I wasn’t too big of a fan of.

But at the same time, I was constantly applying to jobs and going to interviews expecting callbacks, but my phone stayed silent. I had a lot of work experience and never thought getting a job in LA would be so difficult. I was running out of time and money fast, and the search for a roommate was going dry. After a few weeks, I found myself in the last place I thought I would be. The streets. I was homeless. I had nothing but a bag, and I knew no one in this city. After two months of scary situations and being in survival mode, I was able to get into a youth shelter. A year later, I was in my own place and paying my own rent. I started working at my new job which is at the same youth shelter, the LA LGBT Center, that I stayed at while I was displaced. Now I am assisting youth that are exactly in the same shoes that I was in a year prior. Since I now know how the system works, I can do my best to guide these youth towards independent housing. I also speak at youth conferences, city hall meetings, press conferences, and other gatherings in hopes of spreading awareness and educating people on the topic to break stereotypes and to fight for funding. I also am a part of different advisory boards such as HYFLA (Homeless Youth Forum of Los Angeles) and the LACEYH youth steering committee (Los Angeles Coalition to End Youth Homelessness).

Outside of my work in homeless services and activism, my heart is really in music. I recently released my 14 track self-titled album “Travis Crown” in April of this year along with music videos and other content. I have been writing songs since I was in 6th grade. I honestly believe that songwriting and expressing myself creatively is what got me through homelessness. That, and working my ass off! I am still writing songs and have more music videos on the way. You can see my music videos on my YouTube channel and other content on my Instagram (@traviscrown). My album is available on all streaming platforms (Apple Music, Spotify, etc.). Something that is in the works that I am very excited about is a fundraiser I am starting this year! This fundraiser is specifically to raise money for transgender youth and adults who are experiencing homelessness. All the funds will be donated to the Trans Wellness Center!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My journey is the farthest thing from a smooth road. The main obstacle that was in my way was finding employment. If I found a job quick enough, I probably would have at least had enough money to rent a room. Homelessness in itself was an obstacle. When you hit rock bottom like that, there are so many dark paths that I could have trembled down. Anything from falling into the wrong crowd, getting caught up in drugs, becoming content of being homeless, and just giving up. Luckily through music, the right opportunities, and a lot of hard work, I was able to conquer.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
There are two main sides of my brand and of who “Travis Crown” is as a person. The first is the creative, wild, colorful, fun, fashionista, and musical side. The other side is more serious. It’s more focused on the problems within the community and figuring out how to fix them. It’s speaking up and standing with your peers. It’s being that voice when everyone stays quiet in the room when it comes time to talk about youth services and youth funding. I feel like both the Music and Activism side of me will never change. I know I’ll grow and maybe “evolve” as a person, but I will never stop singing or writing or fighting for our youth.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am really excited about this fundraiser I am starting! Certain people have already reached out to me to be apart of this and it makes me so happy when people come together selflessly to take action and make change. The fundraiser is for my transgender brothers and sisters who are experiencing homelessness. As some people might have heard, trump has passed a law where organizations and homeless shelters have the right to turn away someone based on if they identify as trans. Accessing homeless services already is a challenge as a trans person. You have no idea the amount of discrimination these young people and adults face on a daily basis. Many businesses do not hire transgender people, so therefore to make money, many have to rely on government assistance and sex work. Sleeping on the street is dangerous for anyone, but if you are transgender, you are immediately targeted and put at more risk. All of the funds raised will be going to the Trans Wellness Center.

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Image Credit:

@spoonimages

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