Jaiden Grayson (she/they)

By Lo Radclyffe

A drawing of a red guitar.
“Red Guitar” by Anika Gopez.


Jaiden Grayson is an artist, musician, and compassionate activist. She is a Black, non-binary femme. They use all their gifts whether it’s their artwork, voice or physical body to bring joy, light, and protection for their community. Grayson’s great-grandmother moved to Washington state from New Orleans before Grayson was born in 1993. Her family is spread out from Olympia to Marysville giving her ties to many communities across the state.

Coming from a long line of Black women, they were raised with the understanding that they were born into an inherently political body, one where they would always be subject to institutional and systemic violence. The seeds of activism were planted in Grayson’s lineage before they were born. They attended their first protest at age 13. She participated in school walk outs for varying topics around race and injustice. After high school, they joined in more environmental protests against Monsanto and the pollution of our food systems by corporations. With her unquestioning ability to put her body on the line and willingness to show up to fight injustice, she became a pillar in the protesting community.

In 2020, George Floyd was murdered while in police custody. Floyd’s murder moved tens of thousands of people across the globe to flood into the streets to demand accountability from the police and justice for his life. In Seattle, Capitol Hill became CHOP, Capitol Hill Organized Protests, in response to Floyd’s murder. The corner of 11th Ave and Pike St. became the place of action for protestors and police brutality. It was a time of massive unrest and Grayson was thrust into leadership given her extensive protest and organizing history. The community looked to them and followed their demands for accountability. This level of exposure became inherently dangerous. As a powerful Black femme, she was stalked by police and right-wing zealots, threatening the life of her and her family. They had to retreat into hiding to keep themselves safe, and their social media presence had to be erased and started over with a blank slate.

In their time away from social media and activism, they used art and music to begin to heal the trauma of active protesting. Art has always been a passion of theirs and this step out of the public eye allowed them the space to fully embrace their creativity. She refuses to be categorized or put into one box and her current mediums are painting and music. In her discography, she highlights the impact of gender norms and gender roles in heteronormative relationship structures. She has a new music project in the works and given what we know about her dedication to her craft, the album is going to be spectacular. They are an artist in residency at Blue Cone Studios on Capitol Hill. They create vibrant, colorful pieces whose contents are a commentary on many subjects ranging from gentrification to community mentorship. Their ability to tie the socio-political into moving and beautiful pieces is truly a gift.


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Badass Womxn and Enbies in the Pacific Northwest Volume 2 Copyright © 2023 by Badass Zine Machine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.