Janelle Luster

Outreach & Linkage Specialist 

Email: jluster@womenhiv.org

Phone: 510.986.0340 Ext. 4061


Janelle Luster has been at WORLD for over two years. She is 26 years old, a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, and identifies as a Trans Woman of Color (TWOC). Janelle currently serves as WORLD’s Outreach and Linkage Specialist. In this role, Janelle provides linkage to care for the Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Healthcare Center, focusing on early intervention services such as providing direct services, linking people with HIV to care, linking newly diagnosed self-identifying women to WORLD’s peer advocate program, conducting outreach to various high risk populations within the community, and providing HIV Testing.

Janelle came to WORLD as Peer Advocate for the Trans population; ready to work, she created a support group for WORLD’s Transgender clients, which she co-facilitated until moving to her position as Outreach and Linkage Specialist. As she is highly conscious of the lack of Transgender visibility in the world at large, Janelle has played a critical role in making WORLD more Trans inclusive. Her primary focus is on creating spaces for Transgender women to come together and receive quality services without feeling judged. In her new role, Janelle continues to engage with the Transgender population that WORLD serves, letting them know of new, exciting programs and events at WORLD.

As a TWOC, Janelle strives for the advancement of other TWOC, and believes that the only way it can be done is through leadership and empowerment. She was very fortunate to have been able to attend Women’s Research Initiative (WRI) 2016 conference on HIV and the cure, where she was able to be a voice for the Transgender community at the table with cure researchers and doctors from all around the world, asking questions concerning how data is collected on Trans people – particularly TWOC. Janelle raised awareness, shared her voice, and has since been able to use the knowledge to better understand HIV for herself, her clients, and her community.

Janelle constantly works to better educate herself on the needs of different communities she identifies as being a part of, so she can better assist the vulnerable members of those communities. She recently became President of the Bay Area chapter of FLUX, a division of AHF that aims to raise the profile of the Trans and gender nonconforming (GNC) community by leveraging social events, creating safe spaces, and innovative advocacy. Janelle has also participated in Peacock Rebellion’s Trans* Peer Advocacy Training, in which she was trained on how to be a leader in the Trans* community, how to file for name/gender change and how to properly apply for a fee waiver along with the other filings and paperwork that comes along with the process of legally changing one’s gender, such as birth certificate, passport, etc. Following Janelle’s involvement with Peacock Rebellion, she was referred to be a part of a group of Trans and Genderqueer folks to organize a 3 day container bringing Trans and Genderqueer folks together to share their experiences, find common ground, and raise their voices collectively.

Janelle is passionate about serving her community, because she is her community. She spends most of her time doing speaking engagements, events, and sharing her story with others. She is always looking for leadership trainings and opportunities to further support her people through programs such as empowerment workshops, as well as behavior interventions. Janelle is a young leader in her community and has a bright future ahead of her!