|Intro||American policy aide, writer, performance artist, poet, and transgender activist|
|Is||Poet Activist Curator Performing artist|
|From||United States of America|
|Type||Arts Activism Literature|
|Birth||1960, North Lawndale, Cook County, Illinois, U.S.A.|
Andrea Jenkins (born September 22, 1961) is an American policy aide, writer, performance artist, poet, and transgender activist. Jenkins moved to Minnesota to attend the University of Minnesota in 1979 and was hired by the Hennepin County government, where she worked for a decade. Jenkins took a job as a staffmember on the Minneapolis City Council for 12 years, first with Robert Lilligren and then with Elizabeth Glidden, before beginning work as curator of the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota's Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies.
Born in 1961, Andrea Jenkins was raised in North Lawndale, Chicago. When she was young, she participated in the Cub Scouts and played football at Robert Lindblom Math & Science Academy before moving to Minneapolis in 1979 to attend the University of Minnesota. She came out as gay in her 20s and married a woman; they had a child then divorced and Jenkins went to work with the Hennepin County government. At 30, she began to outwardly present as female and returned to college to finish her bachelor's degree, which she followed by earning two master's degrees.
Jenkins worked for a decade as a vocational counselor with Hennepin County. In 2001, Robert Lilligren, who was running for a seat on the Minneapolis City Council, asked Jenkins to be a part of his campaign. After his election, Jenkins joined Lilligren's staff where she worked as an aide for four years. In 2005, Elizabeth Glidden was elected to the City Council and hired Jenkins as an aide, in part for Jenkins's extensive network that she had built up during her time in Lilligren's office. While on Glidden's staff, Jenkins earned a fellowship dedicated to transgender issues and helped to establish the Transgender Issues Work Group in 2014. That year, she organized a City Council summit on transgender equity intended to highlight the issues trans people in Minnesota face.
In 2015, after 12 years as a policy aide with the Minneapolis City Council, Jenkins began work at the University of Minnesota's Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies where she curates the Transgender Oral History Project (TOHP). Lisa Vecoli, curator of the Tretter Collection, noted that the materials within the collection tend to be gay white male-focused. In her role as curator of the TOHP, Jenkins will seek to expand the trans narratives archived in the collection by recording oral histories from up to 300 individuals, totaling as many as 400 hours of interviews.
Jenkins announced in December 2016 that she would run to represent Minneapolis's 8th Ward on the City Council. Glidden, who presently holds the seat, announced that she would not run for reelection.
Jenkins is a performance artist, poet, and writer. She participates in the Trans Lives Matter movement and chairs the board of Intermedia Arts. In 2015, Jenkins was grand marshal of the Twin Cities Pride Parade.