PRIDE MONTH EDITION June 2021
A COLLABORATION WITH POC ZINE PROJECT & TRANSGENDER LAW CENTER
June 2021 PAGE 1
Cover Art Artist: GJo Serrano Artist Social Media: IG/@GJo_Art
TransLash family, You might be wondering why we’re doing a Pride Month edition of TransLash Zine when there’s so much “visibility” in June already. It’s hard to miss the extra levels of pinkwashing that goes down this month; rainbow flags start showing up on everything from cereal boxes to airplanes as corporations go hard to remind the world that they are happy to take LGBTQIA dollars — even when many businesses are only giving optics and lip service to fighting for LGBTQIA rights. But what’s often missed even in these performances of allyship is the T in LGBTQIA: acknowledging and supporting trans and gender non-conforming people — in June, and every other month. Team TransLash wanted to make the antidote for this often frustrating experience: a Pride Month zine made by and for trans and gender nonconforming people that tells our stories free of erasure & censorship — through YOUR art, writing, and photography that you submitted to us earlier this year.
TransLash tells trans stories to save trans lives. Subscribe for alerts: translash.org/connect
For this issue, we’ve collaborated with our friends at the Transgender Law Center to signalboost the Trans Agenda for Liberation, a community-led guide towards the world we all deserve. We’re also spotlighting trans and gender non-conforming gamers, fashion, poetry, and more! Get to know some of the wonderful artists in the TransLash community, and learn more about what Team TransLash is up to in 2021 and beyond — and how you can get involved. Share this free digital version of TransLash Zine: Pride Month edition with your friends, and visit translash.org/zine for information on how to pre-order print issues. TransLash Zine is a collaboration with @POCZineProject: making zines by people of color easy to find, distribute, and share since 2010.
TABLE OF CONTENTS 01
Trans Agenda for Liberation: Introduction by Daniela Capistrano for TransLash Media and feat. art by Fei Hernandez
Pillar 1: Black Trans Women and Black Trans Femmes Leading and Living Fiercely feat. Averi Rose and art by Glori Tuitt
Pillar 2: Beloved Home feat. Alán Pelaez Lopez and art by Amir Khadar
Pillar 3: Intergenerational Connection and Lifelong Care feat. Leo Kouklanakis and art by Denym Aphrodyte
TGNC FASHION feat. Sankofa Athletics
Pillar 4: Defining Ourselves feat. Kay Ulanday Barrett and art by Denym Aphrodyte
Everything You Need To Know About Our New Podcast Mini-Series, The Anti-Trans Machine: A Plot Against Equality by Yannick Eike Mirko for TransLash Media
Pillar 5: Freedom To Thrive feat. Chase Strangio and photography by Niiya Grant
7 Transgender and Non-Binary Video Gamers to Support by Tat Bellamy - Walker
Embracing Your Sexy is Vital to Trans Liberation by Imara Jones and feat. art by Shanisia Person
Commemorations: LL Gimeno and Jahaira DeAlto feat. art by Kim Dinh
TransLash Community Opportunities feat. mini-comic by Futo Wada
Acknowledgements: Thanking Our Supporters
TRANS AGENDA FOR LIBERATION: INTRODUCTION For this special issue of TransLash Zine, Team TransLash has partnered with Transgender Law Center to share the Trans Agenda for Liberation, a community-led guide towards the world we all deserve. Trans/non-binary/intersex/two-spirit people hold the knowledge, power, and joy to create a future where we can all not only survive but thrive. TLC has put a lot of heart and expertise in sharing all five pillars of the Agenda on their website at transgenderlawcenter.org, and back in January of 2021, Teen Vogue published a companion piece entitled The Trans Agenda for Liberation: How President Biden Can Help the Trans Community.
In TransLash Zine: Pride Month Edition, we are sharing the five pillars of the Trans Agenda for Liberation through YOUR art, writing, and photography that you submitted to us in May. Within these pages, we address the urgent political, legal, and social violence enacted against our communities, while channeling trans imagination and creativity to bring our boldest visions to life.
The Trans Agenda grows out of the work that communities and individuals are already doing, and points toward work that still needs to be done. Together, we will continue to center the lives and voices of trans people of color, who have too often had to advance our collective liberation from the margins. Trans justice is migrant justice, disability justice, racial justice, environmental justice, reproductive justice, economic justice, and gender justice.
An agenda for trans liberation is a blueprint for liberation for all.
Here are the
we’ll be sharing in this zine:
Pillar 1: Black Trans Women & Black Trans Femmes Leading & Living Fiercely Pillar 2: Beloved Home Pillar 3: Intergenerational Connection & Lifelong Care Pillar 4: Defining Ourselves Pillar 5: Freedom To Thrive
Each section of this zine includes a definition for each pillar, along with your art, writing, and photography that embodies the spirit of our goals and dreams for the Trans Agenda for Liberation.
our demands: Reimagine Public Safety, Decarceration, and Sex Worker Rights Include “Transgender Status” in Nondiscrimination Laws Provide Healthcare for All, Including Care for People Living With HIV Implement Economic and Housing Justice Reforms Increase Access to and Protection of Updated Identification Documents Prioritize the Needs and Self-Determination of Disabled People End the Criminalization of Young People (Including in Schools) and Provide Care for Young People, Older Adults, and Families End Detention of Transgender Migrants We encourage you to share this zine with your community, and call on them to sign the Transgender Law Center’s petition demanding that the Biden administration implement the Trans Agenda for Liberation. We thank the Transgender Law Center for everything they have done to make the Trans Agenda for Liberation possible. We also thank POC Zine Project for supporting our call for submissions and content strategy. The digital version of this zine is free, and we will be sharing proceeds from print zine sales with Transgender Law Center — so be sure to subscribe to our newsletter at translash.org/ connect to receive the alert when the print version of TransLash Zine: Pride Month Edition is available!
And now, we excitedly share with you the Trans Agenda for Liberation, along with all of our wonderful contributors from the TransLash community and beyond ... PAGE 02
Art Title: “Care not Cops” (2019) By: féi hernandez PAGE 03
PILLAR 1 Black Trans Women and Black Trans Femmes Leading and Living Fiercely VISION :
Black trans women must be trusted to lead. Black trans feminine people hold the expertise and solutions to end violence in our communities. We hold the knowledge to create a world where Black trans feminine people have the freedom to thrive. We envision a world where Black trans folks have equitable access to health care, housing, bodily autonomy, and intergenerational connection. Previous Page Image Description: "Care not Cops" is interwoven between three trans Black families composed of a parent and a child(ren). Stars and magical swirls brighten the night sky. A frayed chain link fence vignettes the families symbolizing the abolishment of the state, borders, and the prison industrial complex. Artist Bio: féi hernandez (b.1993 Chihuahua, Mexico) is a trans, Inglewood-raised, immigrant artist, writer, healer. They have been published in POETRY, Pank Magazine, Oxford Review of Books, Frontier Poetry, The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext, amongst others. They are a Define American Fellow for 2021 and are currently the Board President of Gender Justice Los Angeles. féi is the author of the full-length poetry collection Hood Criatura (Sundress Publications 2020) which was on NPR’s Best Books of 2020. féi collects Pokémon plushies. Artist Social Media: Website/feihernandez.com, Instagramfirstname.lastname@example.org, LinkedIn/linktr.ee/feihernandez
by Averi Rose
I remember reflecting in a mirror that didn’t reflect me. I used to run in circles around my identity. The noise of social conditioning was deafening, and I felt defeated. What purpose would I have if I was no good to myself? The world was different then, and my voice was still developing. Acceptance starts from within, and courage is like a muscle. There is no right time to find or redefine your individuality. Womanhood is precious. It’s not limited to one experience or idea. Womankind is ever-evolving —revolutionary— creating space for women like me. Trans women, black trans women, are worthy of all the goodness this world has to offer. Our lives have been disproportionately snatched away at the hands of insecure men. Men who would rather silence us than admit their love for us. We deserve love, unconditional love, and most of all— we deserve peace. I am a woman. I am a black trans woman. And I am worthy.
Previous Page Author Bio: My name is Averi Rose. I am a model, poet, and an active voice for the trans community. I recently found my voice after reading countless news articles targeting trans youth. I am quite sensitive to the subject of children and their well-being—especially as it pertains to trans children. I struggled with myself growing up. I didn’t have the same courage at their age to fully vocalize my concerns surrounding my identity. I silenced myself out of fear. However, children today are fearless. Their parents are listening and it’s extraordinary to witness. I refuse to remain quiet while the law attempts to silence them. Author Social Media: Website/averirosepoetry.com, Instagram/@_averirose
Art Title: Space makes Warmth, warmth makes fire (May 1, 2021) By: Glori Tuitt Image Description: Three black trans femmes sit together in an embrace on a grassy field in front of a red sun and mosaic style sky. Two of them look over in the direction of a protest/demonstration that is occurring outside of the illustration with looks of warmth and appreciation, while the third sits with her eyes closed enjoying a moment. The silhouettes of the protestors, flags and signage can be seen on the ground near the three figures. Artist Bio: Glori Tuitt is a painter and illustrator based in Brooklyn, NY whose work centers the bodies and stories of black trans femmes. Mining the collective history of queer representation she sees herself as intermediary and visual translator assembling new hybrid archetypes. Ultimately seeking to both humanize and deify trans existence. Artist Social Media: Website/glorituitt.com, Social/@glorifice_ PAGE 06
PILLAR 2 BELOVED HOME VISION:
Trans people belong. We demand a movement that honors Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Asian, Indigenous, Black, and migrant transgender, gender non-conforming, nonbinary, and two spirit peoples by centering their leadership. Indigenous or migrant, we understand that our relationship to this land that is our home is as important as our relationship to ourselves and each other. We demand a world where Indigenous cultural practices, land and body sovereignty are respected, where trans people are never forced to leave our homes, and where we have the freedom of movement to seek out our own belonging.
Zapotec Crossers (or, Haiku I Write Post-PTSD Nightmares) By Alán Pelaez Lopez i Waves smack the body, Nayeli, seven, drowning. Spring: crossing season. ii Summer indicates the migration will be “safe.” Yej Susen, three, sprints. iii Inda Jani, one, knows to crawl under the fence — she was trained all fall. iv At four ai-em, Yao, twelve, is sewn inside car seat; winter will protect. v Itzel, five, plays dead. Border patrol agents see her body — they leave. Source: Poetry (October 2018)
Previous Page Author’s Bio: Alan Pelaez Lopez is an AfroIndigenous poet, installation and adornment artist from Oaxaca, México. Much of their work is invested in thinking with and through language, grief, ancestral memories, abolitionist futures and the role of storytelling in migrant households. Pelaez Lopez is the author of Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien (The Operating System, 2020), a finalist for the 2020 International Latino Book Award, and to love and mourn in the age of displacement (Nomadic Press, 2020). They have been organizing with undocumented queer and trans migrants since 2011. Author Social Media: Website/alanpelaez.com, Twitter/Instagram/@MigrantScribble
Image Description: Digital drawing. A colorful and bright illustration of 8 queer and/or trans people of color on an orange colored background. They are all different sizes, ethnicities, abilities, colors, gender identities and gender expressions. Artist Bio: Amir Khadar (They/Them) is a Sierra Leonean-American artist, designer, cultural organizer, and educator from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their main mediums are poetry, fibers, and digital art. They are actively experimenting and growing as an artist and designer through establishing relationships to ways of making, but their practice has always been grounded through afro-futurism, Queer/ Trans experiences, justice movements, and ancestral practices. They have done extensive art/design work with Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Parenting for liberation, Wakanda Dream Lab, Forward Together, and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. Amir is currently a student at Swarthmore College. Artist Social Media: Website/amirkhadar.com Instagram/@Amir.khadar
Art Title: Untitled (February 2021) By: Amir Khadar
PILLAR 3 Intergenerational Connection and Lifelong Care VISION:
Our communities are only as strong as our relationships and care for trans people of every age. We envision a world where all trans people are affirmed from the moment of their birth and are empowered as their authentic selves at home, at school, and in public life. All trans people deserve a long and fulfilling life. We are building a movement that values the beauty of youth and elder wisdom, and understands that aging is nothing to be feared.
OLD ENOUGH by Leo Kouklanakis
I want to see those women when they limp to rid sore feet of stiff high heels. I want to see those inherent And against-all-odds women With dry-earth cracks And chipped nail polish and sore, swollen, unsteady finger joints That still feel so strong in my hands. I want to be one of those men For boys like me to see. To see a scarred chest And a scarred face And stubborn, unyielding bits of hair That are now all so new to me.
I invite time to change me, To sink me into the mattress, To heave me down to sleep when my knees no longer bend, To cover with a clean white sheet The skin that covers my bones. I want to be so old that I rattle, Old enough to hear bedside lullabies Of I love you’s and I miss you’s, Old enough, at peace enough not to beg for postmortem justice but To be cradled into the ground by Thankful, youthful hands and Large, open eyes that once belonged to me.
Author Bio: Leo Kouklanakis is an 18-year-old boy from New York City, and he is a senior at the Brearley School. He has contributed poetry and personal essays to his school’s literary magazine, The Beaver, and was a staff writer for his school’s news publication, The Zephyr. He is also a member of his school’s poetry workshop for upper school students. He has been published in an edition of ImageOutWrite Magazine and an inter school news publication called The Iris. Leo lives with his parents, two sisters, and his two cats. He enjoys making music, reading, and practicing with his band. Author Statement: From the perspective of a young trans person who spends a significant amount of time on social media, tragedies are inescapable. I follow trans creators and activists because visibility and community are necessary for our survival, and I am really tired of being heartbroken time and time again when I see news of another life lost. It’s wrong for me to feel like every day I have overcome a mortality statistic. It’s wrong for me to feel that any age over 40 years old is a long life span for a trans woman of color. I think many people can relate to a feeling of having lost and continuing to lose an older generation of trans people who would otherwise be our role models, leaders, and caretakers. One thing I wanted to convey in this poem is that despite all the times I have struggled and not wanted to continue, I am longing for the security of aging. I am longing to see others age by my side so that we can be there to support those older than we are, and be strong enough to uplift those younger than we are. Author Social Media: Instagram/@skouklanakis
Art Title: Miss Major Griffin-Gray By: Denym Aphrodyte
Artist Statement: This is a digital portrait of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy. My hopes are that people see this portrait and remember all of her activism for our community and be inspired to fight for our rights as a community. Artist Bio: Denym (they/them) is a non-binary artist based in Denver Colorado. A lot of their work centers around trans pride and joy. Denym is a mixed media artist, activist, model, and creative.
TGNC FASHION feat. Sankofa Athletics Sankofa Athletics and the Nick Ricardo Collection have partnered to create the “I AM ME” Foundation, a movement that is backed by our passion to uplift LGBTQIA+ and People of Color within our community. Our passion and eagerness to rise up stems from our appreciation for all that our community has contributed to our society.
We want to lead by example by collaborating on this movement as we believe this partnership is bigger than us. Our “I AM ME” Foundation is a reflection of us, and we hope that our stories inspire our community.
As creators of color, we hope to not only motivate our community to be unapologetically themselves, but we also want to be an example and show the importance of solidarity and taking care of one another. Our "Be You” Collection is geared towards inspiring people to love themselves no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation. Our goal is to encourage solidarity, and for Queer entrepreneurs to give back to their communities in any way that they possibly can. We hope to push our community to pledge full support for their LGBTQIA+ businesses that are community focused. We have laid the foundation, and our goal is to build on this foundation. When you support our “Be You” collection, you will receive a fragrance sample set from the Nick Ricardo Collection that includes 15% off your purchase of a full-size bottle, an athleisure apparel shirt that includes a 10% off your purchase of apparel from Sankofa Athletics, and $2 of your purchase will go towards the funding of the “I AM ME” Foundation.
ABOUT SANKOFA ATHLETICS Future. Movement. It’s more than a tagline. It’s who we are. We don’t just sell apparel, we provide our family with unique purposeful drip. Purposeful Drip designed with a powerful meaning and purpose!
Be You Fragrance Set: This set includes our 4 signature scents: Mention, Onyx, Desire, Turbulent Learn more: https://sankofaathletics.com/
Instagram Handles: Personal IG: KhaliaErvin (CEO & Founder of Sankofa Athletics) Product Description Business IG: Sankofa_Athletics Business Partner IG: thenickricardocollection Be You Shirt: Be You Edition: We have created Photographer IG: Ralph Anderson (rlathepoet) unisex shirts that represent our LGBTQUIA+ Models IG: community. The "BE YOU" Edition was created soulstallion so that we as a community can celebrate who soofficialsassy we are proudly. maneesh1313 iamtyvalentino Colors: Black/Rainbow colors, Trans Colors thetonibryce (Blue/White/Pink) Sizes: Small-3XL
PILLAR 4 DEFINING OURSELVES VISION:
Our bodies are our own. We demand a world where the health care we need is readily available, and where our bodies, HIV statuses, disabilities, and viral loads are no longer policed and criminalized. We envision a world where disabled, Deaf, sick, and Mad people are guaranteed complete self-determination and resources to live their fullest lives. We demand the freedom to define ourselves and our futures, free of nonconsensual procedures and gatekeeping.
I use the word Disabled By Kay Ulanday Barrett Original publish date: November 24, 2020
because every doctor thinks – they know more about the cavity echo – of my feet [than I do] because it’s dirty word – where every stranger – self-discloses their arms – skin – fevers like [family secret] – because bodies aren’t meant – to live – in whisper – because whole events still [rampless] – how clipboards are – biggest fear [monger]
because everyone can name one [token] Disabled or Deaf – poet who is usually white – [and always] straight – because after speaking – as an expert [for a whole hour] in a packed auditorium – during any Q&A – someone [eventually] doesn’t ask a question but says You’re not that. – You’ll get better soon – as though I haven’t measured –
my sternum into – a city of MRIs – gazed at comet splatters – of xrays – hospital gown high hat ultrasounds – my season’s [best] – as though my soundtrack isn’t – bass of prescription – bottles gone empty – every lost friend – every abled grimace like death – [somewhere] joy in crook of toes – equals some cold – nobody
wants to catch – about colds – every january some people – conflate their – dalliance with cough syrup – with [my] blacking out – in laundromats – subway – a new partner’s bedroom – how concave of chest – is altar where [friends] stopped checking in – forgot to invite – candlelit rib for – every time someone in new pain – says I get it now – PAGE 19
an [incantation] for every time – you discuss pang – forever in skull – a friend says – [yeah] I get headaches when I’m hung over too – for if you don’t make a – potluck – meeting – twitter hour – you might be the dog [taken] out back – your work silenced – for its own misery – together [we] pass lidocaine & – salonpas the way – our
aunties shared adobo recipe – we inherit collective – [care] because we – swap how-tos – on advocacy with nurse – specialist – to oncologolost & [again] – to access-a-ride – our texts from scratch – to survive spasm song – because another date – asked you about your leg – & you know that you’ll never [see] – them again & nobody understands
rejection like a sick – crip who brings you weed – & a casserole – tells you not to move a muscle – they’ll get the tea – hope still twined on their – [throats] we have been a movement – all of us – an inhale – at the closest – sunset [window sill] – as somebody tries to text – fried – but autocorrect anticipates – grief [same thing]
Author Bio: Kay Ulanday Barrett (@brownroundboi) is a poet, performer, and cultural strategist; their collection More Than Organs received a 2021 Stonewall Book Honor Award by the American Library Association and is a 2021 Lambda Literary Award Finalist. Barrett has featured at Lincoln Center, the United Nations, Symphony Space, the Poetry Foundation, Princeton University, the Dodge Poetry Foundation, the Hemispheric Institute, and the Brooklyn Museum. They’ve received fellowships from MacDowell, Lambda Literary Review, Drunken Boat, VONA, and Macondo, and their contributions are found in The New York Times, Asian American Literary Review, them., NYLON, Vogue, PBS News Hour, Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, The Advocate, The Rumpus, F(r)iction, RaceForward, and more. They have served on boards and committees for the Transgender Law Center, Sylivia Rivera Law Project, the Disability Justice Collective, Res Artis, and the advisory committee for the Crip Camp documentary on Netflix. Currently, they remix their mama’s recipes and reside in Jersey City with their jowly dog. Author Website: www.kaybarrett.net
Art Title: Trans Is So Fucking Beautiful By: Denym Aphrodyte
Artist Statement: As a community we are constantly told by society that we don’t belong. My piece “Trans is fucking beautiful” is a statement to all trans people that you matter, you belong, and you are beautiful ! I hope when any Trans person sees my work that they feel pride in themselves. This piece is made with mixmedia by collage with a color theme of the trans flag. Artist Bio: Denym (they/them) is a non-binary artist based in Denver Colorado. A lot of their work centers around trans pride and joy. Denym is a mixed media artist, activist, model, and creative. PAGE 21
Everything You Need To Know About Our New Podcast Mini-series, The Anti-Trans Machine: A Plot Against Equality by Yannick Eike Mirko Here at Translash Media, we work towards building a more inclusive media space that involves people of all backgrounds, working together to demystify how the world is and isn't taking care of us, and what needs to change to make that happen. Part of our journey in doing that has been through our first successful year of the TransLash Podcast with Imara Jones. In our podcast, topics like losing trans people to violence, raising a trans child as a former conservative, and an even wider array have been decompressed by the combination of outstanding journalism work from our award-winning founder Imara Jones and the wonderful guests she welcomes onto the show. Trans joy is also essential with this podcast. It’s how we start each other. And we end the show with gratitude, with Imara giving us her final thoughts grounded in gratitude. This podcast is positive and celebrates our community. But our new limited-series podcast, The Anti-Trans Hate Machine, departs from our upbeat approach. By necessity, this fourpart program launching on June 24th takes us behind the curtains of the people and institutions driving the anti-trans backlash across the country to expose a highlyorganized political apparatus, which makes the future potentially darker for everyone. To do so, we center the voices and stories of trans people, as well as their families, who are victimized by this hostile movement. Through their voices we hear both the danger and the hope of this moment.
As most of us know, politics has taken the topics of trans-identity, safety and expression into dangerous territory. Over the past year significant moves in legislation have been made against our communities including (though unfortunately not limited to): the criminalization of doctors treating trans youth, the prevention of athletes safely belonging in sports, gender markers, and even over whether we can use the bathroom.
It's actually putting these kids in danger. So shame on any politician introducing these hateful, mean spirited and discriminatory bills that are anti-American. - Carmarion D. Anderson-Harvey, Human Rights Campaign PAGE 22
The Anti-Trans Machine: A Plot Against Equality aims to answer the big questions that no other news or media outlets seem to be giving the time and effort to even think about or discuss on the air: Why has there been such a strong, uniform assault on trans rights at the same time in different places across the country? What are the experiences of those they are attacking? Who are the people and institutions fueling these attacks? What is the end game of those people and institutions? How is this attack on trans rights part of a larger cultural and political agenda that these groups have for people that aren’t trans? At TransLash we believe that this project is vitally important. The misinformation spewed out by politicians of all parties, not only limits our rights the more they are spoken, but they continue to advance the narrative that the only people allowed to have a microphone are those who wish to do us harm. The vast majority of us have no idea what we’re up against. Much of the public fear and controversy around trans people is manufactured by a network of powerful groups, billionaires and fringe religious ideologies decades in the making. Trans people are just their latest and, right now, among their biggest targets. Sadly there is no sign the pressure on us will end anytime soon.
But by understanding who these people are, and what they are trying to do, trans communities can ultimately win. This series is your opportunity to better understand how these groups shape our culture, political life and laws. You will hear from those who are working to push back against this assault, including the brave trans people fighting the Anti-Trans Hate Machine with everything they’ve got. Each episode of The Anti-Trans Machine: A Plot Against Equality begins with stories from the people directly impacted by those pending laws, allowing us the opportunity to fully understand their gravity, and what needs to be done to take apart the pieces of the well-oiled machine that destroys our opportunities to live full, happy and healthy lives. But the truth is that attacks on trans rights are an attack on everyone’s rights. So, even if you don’t identify as trans, this series is for you. That’s because the problem is even larger than you might be hearing in the news. Currently, there are nearly 130 anti-trans bills pending in state legislatures across the country. Just two years ago, there were just a handful. This just shows the power of the right to quickly tip the balance away from a host of progressive goals, regardless of who they impact. The bottom line is that by shining the light into dark places, as we do through this series, we are confronting an operation which wants to remain out of sight. And the light of our truth is why we will prevail and thrive. Learn more: translash.org/podcast Subscribe for alerts: translash.org/connect
PILLAR 5 FREEDOM TO THRIVE VISION:
Trans people deserve the freedom to thrive. We demand a world without cages. We envision a world where people in sex work economies have rights and protections, and where sex work is no longer used as a justification for violence and harm. We demand not only freedom, but active community support in building lives for ourselves and our families on our own terms.
How Many Trans Kids Will Die While We Await This Mythic Trans Sports Takeover? Biden didn’t “erase” women but those who claim he DID, ARE TRYING TO ERASE trans people. By Chase Strangio Original publish date on Medium: 1/22/21 On this first day in office, President Biden signed an Executive Order promising to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination under federal law. As I have written elsewhere, though important and meaningful, the Order merely affirms what Congress and the Supreme Court have already said, that LGBTQ people are already protected under federal law, and directs the administration to enforce those laws as written — something his predecessor refused to do.
Within minutes of signing the Order, the hashtag “Biden Erases Women” was trending. The idea behind that hashtag, likely originating in the UK and spreading through the powerful network of anti-trans voices and organizations online, is that by protecting trans people — trans women in particular — the President is harming non-transgender women. Nothing about this is accurate — as a matter of law, science, or practical reality — but these voices who claim to be silenced are, in fact, very loud. We have reached a point where the anti-trans rhetoric about ‘transness as harm’ is so deeply aligned with state power that across the US and the UK courts and lawmakers are buying into the idea that transness is itself a threat that should be eradicated. A recent high court decision in the UK has lead to the forced removal of health care for youth across England and Wales. A dozen states in the US have already introduced bills attempting to criminalize health care for transgender youth and bar youth from athletics. Biden didn’t “erase” women but those who claim he has certainly want to erase trans people. Behind yesterday’s hashtag and the past two years of anti-trans rhetoric and policy in the United States is the false claim that women and girls who are transgender are a threat to the integrity of women’s sports. Women like former tennis champion Martina Navratilova and Duke Law Professor Doriane Coleman have joined forces with anti-trans groups like Alliance Defending Freedom to attack legal protections for trans people under a false narrative of “protecting” women. Though they can point to only a handful of trans athletes who have had any success in sport over the past four decades, they claim that trans dominance in sport is “just around the corner.” Notably, trans women have
been competing in women’s events at the NCAA, the Olympics, and elite international competition without any dominance or even notable competitiveness. In fact, no trans woman athlete has even qualified for the Olympics let alone won a medal. Trotting out charts about the biologicallybased performance differences between non-transgender men and women, the claim is that women and girls who are trans are equivalent to cisgender boys and men and should be excluded from women’s sport. But there are a few serious problems with their rhetoric, science and strategy. First, the rhetoric. The starting premise of this and all anti-trans arguments is that women and girls who are transgender are *really* male. Claiming that being assigned male at birth makes one constrained to the category of man and the so-called biology of maleness for their entire lives is tantamount to erasing the embodied and lived experience of trans people. A woman who is trans is a woman. That she, just like many cisgender women, may possess physiological characteristics that we associate with maleness does not negate her womanhood. The assumption behind the anti-trans rhetoric is that there is a single biological characteristic that one can locate and name that demarcates the so-called biological line between the binary of maleness and femaleness. But the reality, thankfully, is much more complex, varied and beautiful. Our physiological sex characteristics, just like our expressive ones, are many and all exist on a spectrum. When anti-trans advocates claim that all trans women and girls are boys and must compete on boys teams, they are, in essence, asking the state to coerce people into being cisgender. That is to say, if you tell a young person that they cannot be who they are
and in order to enjoy the benefits of their education they must exist in accordance with their assigned sex at birth, then you are instructing the state to engage in a process of coerced conversion therapy. And all the science we have demonstrates that not affirming trans and gender expansive kids in who they are results in catastrophic mental health consequences including devastating rates of suicidality.
That sounds more like a eugenics project than a civil rights one. Second, the science. The animating claim behind attempts to ban trans women and girls from sports is that being assigned male at birth gives one a lifelong physiological advantage in sports over individuals assigned female. Most advocates claim that the source of this “advantage” is circulating testosterone but the policy that many are advancing is to ban *all* trans women and girls from sports regardless of their testosterone levels, age of transition, sport, or level of competition. As with many anti-trans political movements, the definitions of “sex”, of “threat”, of “maleness”, shift to adapt to the overarching political goal of trans exclusion. But even taking the central premise of their argument that testosterone bestows a physiological advantage on trans women and girls athletes, there are some serious flaws. The first is that we have no data on young trans athletes. The anti-trans advocates show data of performance differences between cisgender boys and girls (post-puberty) and apply them to trans women and girls. But our hormones are dynamic and so are our PAGE 26
bodies. A cisgender boy who is affirmed in their gender, not experiencing discrimination or trauma will have a different experience of his body than a trans girl will. Trans women and girls are tormented, harassed and brutalized. This affects their cortisol levels, their overall well-being and their hormones. Though one’s self-identification may not correlate to athletic performance (though it may), certainly one’s experience of being trans in the world dramatically impacts the body and in turn how the body engages in and experiences sport. And the other reality is that trans people are able to medically transition at younger ages meaning many never go through their endogenous puberty and none of the data related to a pubertal influx of testosterone is relevant to this population of women and girls who are trans. The irony, of course, is that the same advocates who claim that going through endogenous puberty as an assigned male gives one a permanent advantage in sport also want to make it a crime to receive pubertal suppression and other genderaffirming treatment. It starts to look like the project is not about protecting women and girls in sport but rather stopping young people from being trans at all.
discriminated against in sport for decades. In response to efforts to include trans women and girls in athletics, anti-trans advocates will pull images of women (presumably trans) who are tall or strong or muscular. The implied message — “look at these ‘women’ aren’t they *really* men.” But, of course, so many cisgender women are tall and strong and muscular and they, too, have been called “men” and “manly” and told they aren’t feminine enough to be women. The strategy of looking at an athlete’s body and scrutinizing what makes it not woman enough is going to hurt all women. It is especially hurting young trans women and girls now — many of whom have given up on the sport they love, lost any joy they did experience, and just want to disappear from the public harassment. One young athlete that I worked with who used to love sport wrote one day, “I feel so much pain that my heart is turning numb. I cry so much I have no tears left. I try to be [a] happy person, I have no happiness left in me.” Relentless scrutiny of trans youth is hurting them deeply. They participate in sports because they love them and want to find a place to connect, feel joy and experience embodiment. These hashtags are becoming laws very quickly and young kids are going to suffer deeply.
Again, that sounds more like a eugenics project than a civil rights one. No one is protected when trans youth are demonized, when they are kicked off the Third, the strategy. So much of what emerges sports teams they love and their health care in these efforts to ban trans youth from sport is criminalized. is an impulse to regulate and control the bodies of all athletes. Yesterday, a reporter There is no trans takeover of sports waiting asked me the precise testosterone levels around the corner, but how many young and medical regimen of two young trans people will cry out, “I have no happiness left women. Advocates are scrutinizing the in me” while we perpetuate this false claim? bodies of high school athletes in an effort to police youth out of the category of “girl”. This, of course, is inextricable from the many ways all women athletes have been policed and PAGE 27
Previous Page Author Bio: Chase Strangio is Deputy Director for Transgender Justice with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project and a nationally recognized expert on transgender rights. Chase’s work includes impact litigation, as well as legislative and administrative advocacy, on behalf of LGBTQ people and people living with HIV across the United States.
Photo Title: “I believe in Trans Liberation” By: NiiLee Photo Description: March on Washington - Washington, DC, - August 28, 2020 - Lincoln Memorial - “NiiLee facing the Lincoln Memorial as Reverend Al Sharpton presents” Photographer Bio: NiiLee is a 35-year-old black trans woman who has cultivated a following surrounding her ability to cultivate safe spaces for trans education and liberation. She has hosted multiple panel discussions adding balance to conversations regarding a lived trans experience with hopes to uncover any unconscious biases and shed light on an experience that is still marginalized and considered taboo table talk. She has also conducted DEI trainings with corporations to discover ways to navigate professional language within the workplace. Photographer Social Media: IG/Clubhouse/Twitter/@jesuisniilee
7 Transgender and Non-Binary Video gamers to support By Tat Bellamy - Walker
LETSPLAYGAMES Photo Credit: twitter.com/ctrlaltquin
RICKI SOPHIE ORTIZ
WINNE Photo Credit: twitter.com/MermaidRoyal
Photo Credit: twitter.com/SonicFox/photo
Photo Credit: twitter.com/letsplaygaymes
Photo Credit: twitter.com/NikatinePrime
VERONICA RIPLEY Photo Credit: twitter.com/_wxnnie
Photo Credit: twitter.com/HelloKittyRicki
Trans non-binary, intersex, and two-spirit people are working to disrupt anti-LGBTQIA rhetoric in gaming circles. TransLash is spotlighting some of these TGNC gamers and advocates who vow to make the gaming community safe and inclusive for people of underrepresented genders.
Ricki Sophie Ortiz (She/Her) is a transgender woman and champion pro-fighting player for Evil Geniuses’ esports team. Ortiz is known within the gaming community for her expert combat skills in “Marvel vs. Capcom” and the “Street Fighter” series. Streamers can find her on Twitch at HelloKittyRicki. SonicFox (They/Them) is a Black, queer, and nonbinary pro-fighting game player for Evil Geniuses. They have long identified as a furry, and in 2019, they came out as non-binary. SonicFox uses their platform to raise awareness of issues in the LGBTQ community. Last year, they won a “Mortal Kombat” tournament while wearing a blue fursuit head and wrapped in a trans flag. They can be found on Twitch at SonicFox. Veronica Ripley (She/Her), also known by the username Nikatine, is a Latinx transgender woman and founder of Team Trans Gaming, a platform providing visibility to trans video gamers. She has recently shown her gaming expertise through playing “Red Dead Redemption 2” and “Resident Evil Village.” Ripley is constantly exploring new games on Twitch at Nikatine. Winne (She/They) is a non-binary, ace-identified, disabled, and Vietnamese gamer. Additionally, she is a member of Rainbow Arcade, a tight-knit LGBTQ gaming space. When they are not fundraising for queer and social justice issues, users can find them overthrowing vegetable governments in “Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion” on Twitch at Wxnnie. MermaidRoyal (They/She) is a queer Latinx content creator and video gamer. They are known for diving into everything from story-based games to “Dungeons and Dragons” and more. LGBTQ individuals seeking to join the Mermaid squad can catch them on Twitch at MermaidRoyal. Letsplaygaymes (She/They) is a disabled, agender, non-binary gamer and pro at playing “Kingdom Hearts.” What’s more, on Twitch you can catch them doing yoga while pursuing farm life in the role-playing game “Stardew Valley.” Ctrlaltquin is a trans, non-binary video gamer and “Star Wars” geek that sprinkles comedy into their live streams. You can find them playing “Among Us” and other games on Twitch at Ctrlaltquin.
TGNC Inclusive Gaming Communities & Advocacy Organizations I NEED DIVERSE GAMES is a Chicagobased non-profit spearheaded by journalist Tanya DePass. DePass is known virtually as cypheroftyr and provides a safe online space for gamers of color and individuals of marginalized identities. Gamers not only can promote their work but can discuss representation and diversity in the video gaming industry. The non-profit is known for bringing dozens of people to the Game Developers Conference, a major industry networking event. QWEERTY GAMES is a non-profit seeking to make LGBTQ gamers more visible and welcomed across the world. For years, the platform has brought developers and LGBTQ gamers together for conversations on queer representation. Additionally, the group provides consultations, programs, and workshops to advance the careers of LGBTQ gamers. RAINBOW ARCADE is a QUEER GAMING SPACE ON TWITCH to help streamers and content creators talk about everything from fighting anti-LGBTQ bias in the video gaming industry to defeating the latest round in a new indie game. The group seeks to be a positive force within gaming circles and is committed to helping LGBTQ individuals have a seat at the table.
Author Bio: Tat Bellamy - Walker is the digital editor/reporter at Gay City News, the only LGBTQ newspaper in New York City. Last year, he was NHPR’s Barbara and Richard Couch Fellow. His work has appeared in Business Insider, on CNN, and The Daily Beast. He’s an alum of the Craig Newmark School of Journalism, where he specialized in health and science reporting. Author Social Media:Twitter/@Bell_Tati Emailemail@example.com
Embracing Your Sexy Is Vital To Trans Liberation By Imara Jones When we talk about trans liberation, we can’t forget that a key ingredient is the total freedom to control our bodies, explore our desires, and find pleasure through sexual expression on our own terms. That’s because there is no greater sign of self-determination than body autonomy. Doing what we want with our bodies is essential to being free, and this includes asexual, demisexual, aromantic folks! But for many of us, figuring out how to sexually and romantically express ourselves on our gender journey can feel confusing, frustrating, and scary. I know it was for me. Over time, I have gone through several versions of my gender identity. I also went through changes in my sexual orientation, which happens to many trans / non-binary / intersex / twospirit people; a TGNC person who once thought they were strictly heterosexual may discover on their gender journey that they are actually bisexual, lesbian, etc. This experience is common, normal, and valid! It took time for me to finally figure out who I was and who I wanted to be with. Exploration and experimentation was crucial to me discovering what fuels my sexual and romantic attractions to others. Embracing the truth of who I am, who I desire, and what brings me sexual pleasure with myself and others, has been empowering and healing. What I have come to realize is that I am a Black trans woman who is attracted to masculineidentifed people -- but not necessarily men (specifically, those assigned male at birth). This means that I am attracted to a range of people and body types, and I can find pleasure in them all. For me, it’s literally not about the body. What is at the core of my passion is masculinity, and masculine expression, rather than the physical form in which it finds itself. Embracing my gender & sexual preferences has gone hand in hand, and discovering this about myself was a path full of twists and turns. In my teens and early twenties, I tried to live my life as a straight man. This gender identity meant that sexually, I worked very hard to be attracted to women. But it didn’t feel good, because neither that gender, nor the sexual attraction which accompanied it, held true for me.
After that realization, I identified as a gay man -- which then meant that I had sex with cis men. This was slightly better, but still far off the mark for me. The next stop on my gender journey was genderqueer. This period of my life contained my first experiences having sex with a range of gender expressions: cis, non-binary, and trans. This was closer to my authentic self, but not quite there. Finally after more time, effort, pain, and therapy, I was finally able to accept the truth that I was a woman! That was step one. But step two was harder. Accepting my true gender identity brought up new questions: both sexually and romantically. Who was I attracted to, and why? Did being a woman mean that I actually longed for cis men after all? And, if this was true, what about the other bodies and gender identities I had actually enjoyed back when I identified as genderqueer.? The answers started coming to me when I finally got out of my head and into my body. By living my truth as a woman, I was able to let go of the performance of gender. I no longer felt that who I had sex made me more or less of a woman. I realized that I was always a woman -- regardless of who ended up in my bed.
Getting to where I am now was a long process. How did I do it? Well, tuning into how my body and my heart responded was essential in me figuring all of this out. The relationships I had with non-cis, masculine identities showed me -- step by step -- that I had to accept what I want. Despite the fact that I didn’t grow up seeing the shape of my desire, I had to have the courage to act upon it. And this is so essential: possibility models matter. It was hard for me to picture actually living and loving as a trans person in my youth. So the prospect of anything other than cis couples was unthinkable. You might have as well have told me that I was going to be a captain on Star Trek. But even now, it is difficult to see how the full range of my desire can find expression. Despite the growing number of trans couples, there is still an incredible amount of pressure for trans women to gravitate toward cis men. In many circles, there is this expectation that cis men are a prize which affirms our desirability. But the truth for me is that there’s nothing about a phallus which makes or breaks my attraction. It’s just not enough. PAGE 32
Sometimes I wonder if I am the only trans woman in the world who is attracted to masculinity, but not necessarily cis men. But even though I still feel isolated sometimes, being trans has taught me I have to live in my truths -- all of them. Regardless of the signals or messages that I receive from the outside world, I know what is right for me. I cannot be fully myself unless I honor my attraction and desire. If trans liberation is the ability to live freely in who we are, then we must manifest our passions in the world. We must embrace our sexual attractions -- or lack of -- and trust in our own hearts and minds to guide our path.
SEXUAL HEALTH RESOURCES Safer Sex for Trans Bodies:
The HRC Foundation, in partnership with Whitman-Walker Health, released this comprehensive sexual health guide for transgender and gender expansive people and their partners. www.hrc.org/resources/safer-sexfor-trans-bodies
Sex Down South: Atlanta Sexuality Conference: a trans
and gender non-conforming inclusive sex and sexuality conference that aims to foster learning, inspiration, and wonder – and provoke conversations. www.sexdownsouth.com
Asexual Visibility and Education Network: AVEN
hosts the world's largest online asexual community as well as a large archive of resources on asexuality. AVEN strives to create open, honest discussion about asexuality among sexual and asexual people alike. https://www.asexuality.org/
Author’s Bio: Imara Jones is the founder and creator of TransLash.
Art Title: Arm Black Trans Women and Sex Workers By: Shanisia Person
Artist Statement: Illustration about protecting black trans women and sex workers, and allowing them to protect themselves. Black trans women and black sex workers are two of the most targeted groups of human beings and the least protected. And should be given the ability to protect themselves since so many are not doing so. Artist Bio: Shanisia Person is a NB AfroLatinx erotic multimedia artist based in ATL. Their work is all centered in their study of sexuality from gender and it’s expression, to eroticism and it’s practices. Artist Social Media: Instagram/@shanisiaperson, Facebook/shanisiapersonillu PAGE 34
Commemorations “writer of dreams, maker of meals, lover of friends, a fantastical hood bitch.” —@CallMeLuciaLeandro
Lucia Leandro Gimeno, LL, Light Lion, our love, can best be self-described: An Afro-Latinx, gender nonconforming femme, counselor/ bruja/organizer based in Seattle. Born and raised by loudmouth working class dykes in Boston, he was taught that love is most definitely a verb. For nearly 20 years they organized with queer, trans and gnc communities of color in NYC (The Audre Lorde Project & FIERCE!). His last leadership position was as the Director of The Queer & Trans People Of Color Birthwerq Project, an organization dedicated to mending the disconnect between Trans and Reproductive Justice through birthwerqer trainings and community organizing.
Lucia Leandro (LL) Majta Gimeno - glitter femme boi extraordinaire, and unapologetic longtime organizer in service of trans, queer, racial, disability and reproductive justice and liberation became a trancestor on April 19th, 2021. Through connection to Yemaya - the Ocean Goddess - he embodied and practiced community and fiercest most abundant love. LL tended many altars in his life, and now forever rests on ours. LL’s legacy will continue to cross and challenge imperial and imagined borders, and we are lucky to have had the honor and privilege to have been in his light, forever moved by his ferocious spirit, our light lion lives on. This earth will make new homes and plant new roots in places where LL thrived and survived over their four beautiful decades here with us. Destined to be a badass club auntie in the sky, their amazing dance moves paired with stanky face will remain so vivid in our collective memories forever. In LL’s own words, “End my story on a good note. It’s like my party rule. Always leave on a good beat. Rockin’ and shakin’, grateful for the communion with your people.” LL is survived by his mother, Antonieta, twin sister, Yuisa, brother-in-law, Charlie Alegria, aunts, uncles, and cousins from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Spain, and an enormous chosen family. - Team LL PAGE 35
I met Jahaira when I was 18 years old and we connected almost instantly. She took me under her wing and showered me with unconditional love and support from day one. A lot of us queer kids were shunned by our real families simply for being ourselves. Jahaira saw what so many of us were longing for in a parent and she became that for us. Her kids were her entire world. Jahaira had the ability to make you feel understood and validated with just a few words. She was able to articulate her feelings and ideas in such a magical and meaningful way. Her sense of humor and wit were other level. She had this warmth to her that was unmatched. Jahaira was everything one would want in a mother. She took pride in being able to offer structure and support to those who needed it the most. She gave so much of herself to those she loved. She was the light in the darkness for a lot of us. She changed my life for the better and I will never forget her. - Patty, Jahaira’s daughter
Art By: Kim Dinh
Image Description 1) Honoring Lucia Leandro Gimeno (portrait) - 5/19. Digital illustration portrait of Lucia Leandro Gimeno laughing/smiling and wearing glasses and a nose ring. Image is in warm colors on yellow background. Image Description 2) Honoring Jahaira DeAlto Balenciaga (portrait) - 5/19. Digital illustration portrait of Jahaira DeAlto Balenciaga with long, wavy/curly hair. Image is in warm colors on pink and yellow background. Jahaira is laughing. Artist Bio: Kim Dinh (they/them) was born and raised in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. Kim is a digital illustrator and immigrant rights and labor advocate based in Philadelphia, PA.
TransLash Community Opportunities TransLash tells trans stories to save trans lives. Want to get involved? Here are a few ways to collaborate with us: Send us your story ideas firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow TransLash Podcast on Spotify, and share your TransLash Podcast reviews on Apple Podcasts! Every positive review helps us to reach more folks in our community -- we appreciate your support. Post about TransLash Podcast on your own social media! It helps us reach a wider audience. Make sure to tag @translashmedia so we can reshare. Be a contributing writer for TransLash.org -- subscribe to our newsletter to be among the first to receive compensated opportunity alerts: translash.org/connect Help us beat Facebook’s algorithm! Be sure to Like, Comment, and Share our FB and IG content as often as you can so we stay in your feed.
CONTACT TEAM TRANSLASH
Send us a message at translash.org/connect, or DM us on Twitter/IG/Facebook:@translashmedia
Discover more trans-affirming content and resources: translash.org
Opposite Page Art Title: daughter By: Futo Wada Artist Statement: A single page comic with three panels, colored in pink and blue marker. The first and biggest panel is of a backlit person with dark, short hair wearing a pink binder leaning on the Japanese kanji for “daughter.” The text at the top reads, “to my mother, i am ‘daughter’/ .” The second panel is of multiple kokeshi dolls with pink flower details strewn on the floor. The dolls surround the text that reads, “but ‘daughter’ is not me.” The third panel is a picture of a young girl and their mother in a picture frame. The young girl is wearing overalls that is the same pink of the binder. The text on the right reads, “and one day, i will tell her. with all the love in my heart.” Artist Bio: Futo is a Japanese American queer artist currently residing in the quiet suburbs of Chicago with dreams of living beside the ocean. Artist Social Media: Instagram/@fooschia PAGE 37
PRIDE MONTH EDITION ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Team TransLash is honored to have partnered with the Transgender Law Center (TLC) on this Pride Month issue. We believe that TLC’s Agenda for Liberation, led by trans women of color, is critical work. Visioning the road ahead for our community and what we want is a radical act. Our joint effort on this zine to spotlight the Agenda has been a joy for our team, and we are grateful to TLC for this opportunity. TransLash would also like to thank all of the contributors to this issue, as well as all of those who responded to our call for submissions with their art, poetry, and photography. Our team had an incredibly difficult time in making final selections. We made it a point to pay each contributor because we believe in paying TGNC creators for their labor. TransLash Zine would not be possible without the support of many people. Team TransLash thanks POC Zine Project & founder Daniela Capistrano for helping us launch our zine in 2019. And we want to thank Resistance Communications for helping us take this zine to the next level visually, on a next to impossible deadline. Contributing writers: Averi Rose, Alán Pelaez Lopez, Leo Kouklanakis, Kay Ulanday Barrett, Chase Strangio, Tat Bellamy Walker, Patty (Jahaira DeAlto’s daughter), Team LL, and for Team TransLash: Yannick Eike Mirko, Daniela Capistrano, and Imara Jones. Contributing artists and photographers: GJo Serrano, Fei Hernandez, Glori Tuitt, Amir Khadar, Denym Aphrodyte, Niiya Grant, Shanisia Person, Kim Dinh, and Futo Wada. Special thanks to Xoai Pham and Meredith Hutchison.
Cover art by GJo Serrano. Digital strategy for TransLash Zine by DCAP MEDIA’s Daniela Capistrano: dcapmedia.com Design for this issue by Resistance Communications: resistancecommunications.com TransLash Media, publisher of TransLash Zine, is supported by the Ford Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, anonymous donors, and members of our community like you: translash.org/donate
There is no Pride Month without Celebrating Trans Lives! We hope you’ve enjoyed this special issue of TransLash Zine, a collaboration with POC Zine Project and Transgender Law Center! To learn more about TransLash Media’s collaboration with Pride Live for Stonewall Day 2021, and pop icon Christina Aguilera’s fundraising efforts on behalf of TransLash Media during Pride Month, visit www.translash.org.
Copyright © 2021 TransLash Media. All rights reserved. This zine or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever for commercial use without the express written permission of the publisher, TransLash Media. Learn more: translash.org/zine