Nahshon Dion Anderson
Nahshon Dion Anderson
|Residence||Bronx, New York, U.S.|
|Education||California State University Los Angeles|
|Occupation||Author, memoirist, screenwriter, teaching artist|
|Awards||Bronx Recognizes Its Own Award|
Nahshon Dion Anderson (born April 1, 1978) is an African American trans woman  and Louisiana Creole writer. She is a recipient of the Bronx Recognizes Its Own Award (BRIO), awarded by the Bronx Council on the Arts.
Anderson's maternal family, the Smiths and Scotts of Marshall and Longview, Texas, have resided in Pasadena California since the early 1940s. Anderson was born in Los Angeles County in the Northwest suburb of Altadena and raised as a Jehovah's Witness with Rodney King's family. Anderson attended Marshall Fundamental Secondary School with actresses Lark Vorhees and Tamala Jones as well as actors Jaleel White and Jaharay Benett and Rodney King's sister Ratasha. As a member of her school's drama club, Anderson was invited to view live TV show tapings of various sitcoms at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, mainly Family Matters.
On March 3, 1991, Anderson awoke to an unusual amount of activity an noise coming from her neighbor Odessa King's home. Anderson later learned that her family friend and Odessa's son, Rodney King, had been beaten by several Los Angeles Police Department officers. During the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, Anderson's paternal grandmother Betty Jean Anderson Fuentes, a Louisiana Creole originally from Opelousas her neighborhood in the Harvard Heights area of Pico and Western in Los Angeles near Korea Town went up in flames. On August 12, a demolition crew clearing the rubble inside a J.J. Newberry store burned by looters on the first night of the riots discovered a body, which police labeled John Doe #172, and which was later identified as 20-year Nissar Mustafa. Anderson wrote an essay on community improvement for Discover Card, won $500, and used those funds to visit New York with her family during 1993.
During 1994, Anderson began working as the mascot of Chuck E. Cheese. She was cast in a TV commercial that was shot in Pasadena at the Sierra Madre location where she worked. Through the Taft-Hartley Act, she became eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild. Between 1995-1996, Anderson worked at Universal Studios Hollywood during the weekends and attended John Muir High School in Pasadena. The rapper Tupac Shakur attended her prom on June 7th escorting his goddaughter, Anderson's classmate Tashuana Howard, at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Anderson inquired about working in Hollywood, and Tupac directed her to contact Look Here Productions, which produced his music videos. Upon taking rapper Tupac's advice in the summer of 1996, Anderson began interning at Look Hear Productions with Tracy D. Robinson and Gobi M. Rahimi.
While attending California State University Los Angeles for two semesters after reading Black Talent News, at age 19, Anderson started working on The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show as a production assistant in 1997. Within months, Anderson became Executive Producer Michael Davies's personal assistant working at Buena Vista Television, a division of The Walt Disney Company located at Walt Disney Studios (Burbank) in the development department along with executives of The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show Hayma Washington and Shauna Garr. During this time Anderson met Sayyed Yusuf Bey, son of Yusuf Bey (founder of Your Black Muslim Bakery) and the owner of Quick N Shine Auto Detail, who detailed the Wayans Family's cars.
Anderson was the production coordinator for hip-hop artists Russell Simmons' One World Music Beat, Naughty by Nature's music video Jamboree, Master P's film, Da Last Don, and the documentary 1 More Hit. In 1999, Anderson joined the Screen Actors Guild, appearing in Diana Krall's music video Let's Face the Music, Arrest & Trial, a Nintendo commercial, with Sheryl Crow at the 26th Annual American Music Awards, and did print modeling for PacSun. Anderson was also hired by former VIBE writer Brianna Hyneman to assist her at The Source Hip Hop Music Awards 1999. In 2001 she moved to Fort Greene Brooklyn and worked with The Bachelor Pad and Trace (magazine) on The Black Girls Rock issue at the home of former Goldman Sachs banker Richard Wayner which was previously owned by Spike Lee. After six months in Fort Greene, Anderson returned to California.
On July 4, 1997, at 12:50 AM, while Anderson was en route on Crenshaw Boulevard to Long Beach to her boyfriend Pastor Eugene Joshua Simms' home she was later assaulted at Jim Thorpe Park in Hawthorne, California. Ricky Laverne Marshall was charged with the assault but found not guilty on all three felony charges. 
After soliciting clients for over a decade by advertising erotic massages in the LA XPress newspaper and on Craigslist and Backpage and having extreme success, Anderson was inspired to cast a wider spell to entertain and after reading Poets & Writers magazine became aware of Red Umbrella Projects memoir writing workshop for sex workers which was also funded in part by Poets & Writers. During 2013, Anderson returned to New York City and started taking writing workshop classes at Red Umbrella Project, Actors Fund of America and the Bronx Writing Center. Anderson's prose revolves around the intersection of violence, race, ethnicity, gender, class, identity politics in America, and more specifically the marginalization and exploitation of persons identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
Anderson wrote a short story, Shooting Range, which was inspired by the assault she endured on July 4, 1997 and her relationship with Sayyed Yusuf Bey. Shooting Range was edited by former VIBE magazine writer Brianna Hyneman, who had been Anderson's colleague since 1999. In the Fall of 2013 through Poets & Writers magazine Anderson discovered the Bronx Council on The Arts Brio grant competition for artists which she entered Shooting Range in and won $3k. In 2016, after applying for the Lambda Literary emerging writers workshop, Anderson was selected to study with Professor Sarah Schulman. For two years, Schulman mentored Anderson on the writing of her 300-page and 21-chapter memoir Shooting Range.
Anderson has interviewed LGBT writers and allies such as Jeffrey C. Stewart, Amber Dawn, Michael Arceneaux, Darnell L. Moore and DeRay Mckesson. Since 2014, Anderson has presented public readings at BAAD! for Bronx Scribe/stories, Transvisionaries, Persistent Voices, Bronx Literary Festival, Red Umbrella Project, Lambda Literary Foundation, Sundress for the Arts, NALAC, First Mondays at Performance Space, Genre Reassignment, The New School University and McNally Jackson bookstore and Spring Board for the Arts.
- Emerge: 2017 Lambda Literary Fellows Anthology. (Volume 3) Lambda Literary Foundation ISBN 978-1985384361
- Our Happy Hours: LGBT Voices From the Gay Bars. Flashpoint Productions. ISBN 978-1633048133
- Emerge: 2016 Lambda Literary Fellows Anthology. (Volume 2) Lambda Literary Foundation ISBN 978-1546327097
- Prose & Lore Collected Issues 1-5: Memoir Stories About Sex Work (Red Umbrella Project) ISBN 978-0988259690
- Prose & Lore: Issue 3: Memoir Stories About Sex Work (Red Umbrella Project) ISBN 978-0988259669
- Prose & Lore: Issue 2: Memoir Stories About Sex Work (Red Umbrella Project) ISBN 978-0988259645
While residing in Hollywood and West Hollywood California, Anderson volunteered at the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition and distributed food to the homeless at Sycamore and Romaine. Anderson volunteered for Heal the Bay and was a Production Associate for their 20th-anniversary fundraiser. Anderson also served as a Production Associate for Magic Johnson's 20th Mid Summer Night Magic week long fundraising event. Anderson interned at the Transgender Legal Defense Education Fund in New York City and worked on the Name Change Project. As an activist, Anderson served as a grant review panelist for Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens Art Councils  and in 2016 was selected by New York philanthropist Barbaralee Diamonstein-spielvogel to be a New York State Council on the Arts grants Advisory panelist for three consecutive years. 
Awards, grants and honors
- 2019 New York City Department of Cultural Affairs SU-CASA Teaching Artist-in-Residence
- 2019 Springboard for the Arts Hinge Artists Residency
- 2018 Center for Cultural Innovation California Art Leaders Investments (CALI) Grant 
- 2018 Sundress Academy for the Arts Writer In Residence
- 2017 NADC Arts & Accessibility Technical Assistance Grant from California Arts Council
- 2017 Center for Cultural Innovation Creative Capacity Fund Quick Grant 
- 2017 Lambda Literary Writer In Residence
- 2017 NALAC National Association of Latino Arts and Culture Leadership Institute (NLI) Fellow 
- 2016 NADC Arts & Accessibility Technical Assistance Grant from California Arts Council
- 2016 The Bryn Kelly Scholarship, Lambda Literary Foundation
- 2016 Lambda Literary Fellow, Lambda Literary Foundation 
- 2016 Grant from The Episcopal Actors Guild
- 2015 VONA Fellow, Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation
- 2015 NADC Arts & Accessibility Technical Assistance Grant from California Arts Council
- 2015 Mayer Foundation Grant, New York
- 2015 Change Inc. Grant Captiva, Florida
- 2014 BRIO Grant from Bronx Council on The Arts
- 2013 & 2012 Grant from The Actors Fund of America
- 1992 Discover Card Essay
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nahshon Anderson.|
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- Council Book (PDF). California Arts Counsel. p. 27.
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