On Season 5 of The TMI Project Story Hour: Black Trans Stories Matter, co-hosts Kiebpoli Calnek and Erik Harris profile 11 storytellers, who share radically true stories celebrating Black, Trans, and Gender Non-conforming communities!

Podcast co-hosts

Kiebpoli Calnek

Pronoun: They/He/She/+
Workshop Leader

“Working with TMI Project feels like divine guidance. It is humbling to have the opportunity to engage with brave participants, helping them express their true stories, For me, it was transformational to capture and share my story, the Black Trans narrative, in all its raw authenticity and wisdom. This crucial work enriches the spirit of the performer with a platform for their truth and provides a unique window of reflection for the viewer.”

Kiebpoli Calnek, a non-binary queer Black creative from NYC/Lenapehoking, has generated nuanced performances and creative direction seeped in poetic somatic elements for over two decades. Their social enterprise, Black*Acrobat, produces interdisciplinary programming sharing stories of, for, and with fringe communities, celebrating authentic visions and viewpoints through research, access, and collaboration. They were covered in Essence and contributed, “How It Feels… To Be An Aerial Acrobat” to Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine. While living out West, Kiebpoli nurtured film, stage, and literary relationships and in 2018, the concept of Queer & Trans Love Stories (“cuties”) was born at a writing residency in New Mexico’s Peñasco mountains. Kiebpoli’s works received generous funding and support from Elizabeth Streb, Astraea Foundation, Asian Arts Initiative, and The New York Foundation for the Arts. They are a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, SAG-AFTRA, and Actors’ Equity Association. kiebpoli.com

Erik Harris

Pronouns: He/Him/His
Workshop Leader

“As a Black trans man, I know I have been lucky to come of age in environments that valued my input and allowed me to thrive, but that is not the reality for so many other people like me. When I heard about TMI Project’s Black Trans Stories Matter, I knew I had to get involved because my community has so many powerful folks and stories that have yet to be heard.”

Erik Harris is a proud Black, queer, trans man from North Carolina currently located in Richmond, Virginia. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Race & Ethnicity Studies from Salem College as well as a Master of Arts degree in History from UNC-Greensboro. Erik is professionally trained as a secondary English teacher. As a high school teacher in Nashville, he was one of the founding advisors of the SafeZone, a club for LGBTQ teens and allies to explore their identities and advocate for their needs in the school. This work, in addition to his own lived experience, has shaped his long-standing passion for social justice and equity work. Erik is currently dedicating his time to building community, developing his writing, and reconnecting to the Earth. When he isn’t working, Erik enjoys hiking, cooking, and playing guitar for his cat, Tux.

About TMI Project & the Podcast

Since 2010, TMI Project has led nearly 150 true storytelling workshops and staged live storytelling performances by over 3,000 storytellers, which have been presented to audiences of nearly 250,000. In the past, you had to wait on line to get seated in an off-broadway theater, a cafeteria in a detention center, or perhaps you were coming to hear activists perform their stories at the United Nations. Now, you can listen from anywhere in the world. Tune in and join us. While you listen, don’t forget to ask yourself, “What is my TMI story?” We all have one.

Podcast Partners


TMI Project programming is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

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