Happy Transgender Day of Remembrance!
It’s a day that honors those who died as a result of transgender-violence, beginning in 1998. I’m not really that aware of the cause, to be honest, but I came across it in Huffington Post, where they recognized many transgendered artists, and I thought it was worth expanding and sharing. Because honestly, any group that is denied human rights should unite together—we’re all fighting for the same thing.
The right to be ourselves.
So I picked three artists who interested me.
1) Del LaGrace Volcano
A trained photographer, Del challenges society’s notions of gender through art work. His pieces usually complicate the understandings of femininity and masculinity by portraying lesbian masculinity. Del’s most recent work, however, reveals how inter-sexed bodies offer a different prospective on the human body.
His statement: “As a gender variant visual artist I access ‘technologies of gender’ in order to amplify rather than erase the hermaphroditic traces of my body. I name myself. A gender abolitionist. A part time gender terrorist. An intentional mutation and intersex by design, (as opposed to diagnosis), in order to distinguish my journey from the thousands of intersex individuals who have had their ‘ambiguous’ bodies mutilated and disfigured in a misguided attempt at ‘normalization’. I believe in crossing the line as many times as it takes to build a bridge we can all walk across.”
2) Joe Stevens
When asked if he ever regretted coming out as a trans man, Joe replied:
“No. These days I’m much more a musician who happens to be trans, but I feel very misrepresented when folks assume I’m a straight bio-guy – that is very much not my story. I’m queer cultured and queer identified, and I feel like my songwriting makes much more sense in that context. Mentioning that I’m trans is also not such a big deal to me anymore, not much more different that telling people I’m an Aries. When framed that way, other people feel like it isn’t such a big deal either.”
I love the way Joe puts it. Yeah, he’s transgender, but there’s more to him than that. He’s an inspiration to anyone, especially transgender individuals. And I like how he points out that transgender isn’t black and white, and that all the labels society puts on gender and sexual orientation gets mixed up and tangled. It’s sorta proof that labels really oughta go.
Joe and Ingrid are the cutest pair ever, and their story is just as spunky. Check ‘em out if you have time, but for now, here’s a music video by their band, Coyote Grace (it talks about Joe’s transition from female to male).
3) Tanwarin Sukkhapisit
A filmmaker from Thailand, Tanwarin produces controversial movies. Usually, they fall along the lines of someone falling in love with a transgender—the message is then clear: who are you to discriminate against the transgender community if you can fall in love with them? Her films point out the flaws many people in society can’t admit to.
She also strives to make transgender into the “other” gender, not falling in line with either male or female.
I love that she recognizes the change and fluidity we are all capable of and sometimes prone to. She has said, “Today, I can say that I love men, but who knows tomorrow I might change! I am open to all possibilities, because we are only human – we love.”
And really, isn’t that all we want in the end?
Here’s a trailer for her film, It Gets Better.