Who Are We
We must use our voice to advocate for those who cannot use theirs.
Gender Advancement Project (GAP) is a Trans-led grassroots movement dedicated to the progression and inclusion of Transgender/GNB individuals in all facets of society.
Bridging the GAP between the Transgender/GNB community and society.
Ashley Figueroa - She/her/hers
Founder, Executive Director
Ashley Figueroa is a leader in social services and a proud Trans Latina American Woman. She works with several local and national community based organizations to make a positive impact in today's society. Some of the boards she currently serves on are, TransAction Florida Advisory Council (member), Contigo Community Board (Member), and the National Network Latin Plus (Member).
Among her chosen advocacy roles, Ashley is the Founder, Executive Director of the Gender Advancement Project (GAP), which focuses on the progression and inclusion of Transgender/GNB individuals in society. She is also a member of the Orlando Trans Collective and the Latinx Group, Del Ambiente.
In 2019, Ashley was honored with the Voice of Equality award by Equality Florida. In the same year, she was also recognized as one of Watermark's Most Remarkable People of 2019 for her advocacy and leadership with the transgender community of Orlando. Ashley's work has also earned her national recognition - in 2020, she was chosen as one of the honorees of the 41 List as a Latinx LGBTQ+ role model.
Nikole Parker - She/her/hers
Founder, Director of Operations
Nikole Parker is an Orlando native of Black, Puerto Rican & Italian descent. At the age of 19 she left her job and childhood home to begin her journey to living authentically. After 3 years of black-market hormones and unsafe lifestyle practices, she came back to Orlando to begin her next chapter. Nikole’s passion is advocating for human rights, protections for all and the importance of everyone having a seat at the table.
Nikole is the Director of Transgender Equality for Equality Florida. She is also the Co-Founder and Director of Operations for the Gender Advancement Project (GAP) she also sits on the board of The Center Orlando.
She has sat on various non-profit board of directors &/or advisory councils including the onePULSE Foundation Memorial Task Force, Orlando United Assistance Center, Contigo Fund, Spektrum Health,Peer Support Space, Orlando Trans Collective and the Central Florida LGBTQ+ Relief Fund. Nikole was also recognized as one of Watermark's Most Remarkable People of 2018. Nikole was honored with the Humanitarian of the Year award that same year. In 2019, Nikole was recognized by Congressman Darren Soto in honor of LGBT+ Pride Month and her biography was read into the Congressional Record. In 2020, Nikole was recognized with the Hope & Help Hero award.
Through advocacy Nikole hopes to encourage open dialogue on gender issues, state and federal protections for all and linkage to proper transitioning resources. Her hope is to teach people that the black-market way of transitioning isn’t the only way.