DECEMBER 2019 | VOLUME 1
weLcOMe, beBEs. TraNsLAsH teLlS tRanS sTorIeS to saVE tRanS liVEs. Beginning in 2018 as a series of video shorts which focus on what it is like to be trans–-especially a trans person of color–-at a time of social backlash, TransLash has evolved into cross-platform media effort translash.org, led by founder and creator Imara Jones. Through the lens of journalism and personal narrative, TransLash creates and curates content, events, and resources in collaboration with our partners, as well as in community with trans individuals and allies. Through our work we center the humanity of the most marginalized of the marginalized. We created this zine for two reasons: 1) to create & share a holiday gift for our trans/non-binary/two-spirit/intersex fam, and 2) to help you get through this and future holidays! To collaborate with us on future editions, send us a message: translash.org/connect.
WE ARE @TRANSLASHMEDIA ON IG PICTURED ON COVER: #TRANSLASH FOUNDER @IMARA_JONES_ (L), ARTIST/ACTIVIST & TRANSLASH COLLABORATOR @MOJODISCO (R)
ThiS oUr is fiRs ziNE T !
TAbLe OF COnTenTs We made this zine for those moments during the holidays when you need relief from the bullshit.
1̀` -2. 5 TIPS FOR SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS (AS A TRANS, NON-BINARY, TWO-SPIRIT, INTERSEX, OR QUESTIONING PERSON) 3-6. RECAP FROM TRANSLASH'S TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE (TDOR) INTERACTIVE EVENT ON 11/20/19 IN NYC AT SAMSUNG 837 7-12. #TDOR ATTENDEE CONTRIBUTED ART 13-14. TRANSLASH SHORT FILM 'FAMILY MATTERS' TESTIMONIALS 15. AFFIRMATIONS
5 tiPs foR suRvIVinG tHe hoLIdaYs
GEt SUpPorT WItH SElF-rEGulATiOn. Did a relative just misgender you? Are you feeling triggered for any reason? Are friends not responding to your calls/texts? Step away and access these free resources: CALL TRANS LIFELINE (BY AND FOR TRANS FOLKS): 877-565-8860 TEXT CRISIS TEXT LINE: Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime, about any type of crisis. Crisis Text Line is the free, 24/7, confidential text message service for people.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or unsafe, change your environment. This could show up as leaving a room and going into another room temporarily where you can self-soothe, or asking a friend to pick you up for a break. Pace your social interactions & take breaks. In an entire day, you could swing from relaxed, to fearful, to anxious, to angry, etc. depending on how people are relating to you. Pay attention to your feelings and honor every single one of them! All of those feelings are valid. Make sure you wear clothing that makes YOU feel comfortable & cozy. if you don't feel safe enough to wear gender-affirming clothing at a family holiday gathering,
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He t G Vin I v suR R o sf P i t
. T n O C , s Y a 5 LId o h
HAve MOre TIpS? SEnD ThEM TO US & WE'lL ShARe: TrANsLasH.OrG/cONneCt.
Do you have to be in the closet around your family? You can play with gender-affirming colors and gender neutral clothing that flatters all body types. A red or gold button up/collared shirt or sweater is gender neutral, and pretty common during the holidays. There are trans/non-binary clothing swap groups on Facebook and Reddit, and often thrift stores have red button ups for less than $3 each. Gender neutral clothing in colors that are affirming for you can help to minimize dysphoria and unwelcome attention. In a just world, you would wear whatever you want, but we wanted to acknowledge that for many this still isn't an option. We see you and we love you.
PlAN ON GEtTinG DrUNk OR HIgH? PrEParE A HArM-rEDucTIon PlAN IN ADvaNcE.
No shaming here, we understand––and we want to see you in 2020. Make sure you don't get behind a wheel: call a friend or ride-sharing service to get where you need to go. Use clean needles: there may be a free needle exchange program in your area. Don't use drugs from unreliable sources: you can purchase drug testing kits from multiple sources, including dancesafe.org/shop. Create a buddy system: set up a check-in plan with someone you trust. Set up a texting check-in schedule with a friend, where if you don't text them by a certain time, they have permission to a) come find you in person, b) notify an emergency contact or mental health professional of your choice, etc. Your life matters to us!
it'S okAY to saY no.
If you know that being around certain family members is going to be too triggering for you, it's okay to pass on social obligations. Sometimes the best thing you can do for YOU is to be around chosen family; people who aren't blood relatives but who understand and affirm you!
CrEaTE NEw TrADitIoNs & RItuALs.
YOU get to decide what a restorative, healing holiday season looks like for you. Accessing & cultivating supportive community is part of your journey, and you can experience new forms of gender euphoria by building in new traditions that affirm your identity.
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TrANsLasH's TraNsGEnDer Day of RemEMbRanCE (TdOR) INteRAcTivE EVenT
SCEEN PROJECTION OF THE TRANS LIVES WE HONORED AT TRANSLASH'S #TDOR EVENT AT SAMSUNG 837 IN NEW YORK CITY ON NOVEMBER 20, 2019. OVER 300 PEOPLE JOINED US TO REMEMBER THOSE WE HAVE LOST AND TO HONOR & CELEBRATE THOSE WHO ARE STILL HERE. YOU CAN WATCH THE LIVESTREAM AT TRANSLASH.ORG/WATCH.
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HonORinG TraNs WomEN IsN’t EnoUGh. We MusT EnD The KilLInG. November 20, 2019, marked the 21st time that transgender people in the United States, as well as their allies, have gathered for Transgender Day of Remembrance. This annual coming together honors the members of our community who have been lost over the past year to anti-trans violence. Though accurate numbers are difficult to ascertain due to misgendering by local authorities, we know of at least 27 trans people who have been murdered this year. Most were either Black or Latinx. In a better world, Transgender Day of Remembrance would not be necessary. In that world, 17-year-old Bailey Reeves, the youngest victim this year, would not have been shot to death several times in her torso. Nor would Bee Love Slater have been burned alive in her car beyond recognition. And, of course, an unnamed trans woman in Florida would not have been beaten, tied to a minivan and dragged within an inch of her life. Somehow, she miraculously survived. Normally, commemorations like Trans Day of Remembrance are ways that we record in our collective consciousness brutal episodes which have passed but are no longer. However, the grim reality for those of us who are trans, estimated to be 1 percent of the U.S. population, is that the specter of violence is all too present.In fact, the U.S. has the highest level of recorded killings of trans people on the planet except for two countries: Brazil and Mexico. The situation for trans life and death is so acute that the American Medical Association this year declared anti-trans violence to be an epidemic. The reality that nearly all those who were murdered are African American underscores that violence happens at the intersections of so many other issues. Black trans women face extreme levels of unemployment, as well as housing, education and health care distress. Black trans women are dying because so many other things are failing. This devastating violence against trans women is occurring in the context of a dramatic increase in recorded “hate crimes” since 2015.
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According to the FBI, 2015-2017 saw attacks classified as hate crimes rise to some of the highest levels on record. And 2018 saw the number of murders classified as hate crimes reach highs not seen for nearly three decades. The spasm in killings motivated by hate is taking place against the backdrop of policy violence perpetrated by an administration that is arguably the most anti-LGBT+ since that of Ronald Reagan’s in the 1980s. Despite the fact that as a presidential candidate, Donald Trump uttered positive words about the LGBTQ community at the 2016 GOP convention, he telegraphed his true intent with the selection of then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who has worked tirelessly to marginalize LGBT+ people for decades. Since ascending to the highest offices in the land, Trump and Pence have targeted trans people with gusto, making trans people their centerpiece in a federally inspired transgender backlash.The current administration is forcibly removing trans people from the military and refusing to guarantee equal access for transgender kids in schools across the country.
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It is also fighting for the right to deny trans patients equal access to health care and — most dangerously — is arguing before the Supreme Court that transgender people should be stricken from the 1964 Civil Rights Act. As a whole, these actions translate into violence against trans people on a mass scale. The toxic mix here is that both the physical and policy violence work together to form an ecosystem of antipathy against trans people. Not only does the policy violence create a culture of permissiveness for individual acts of violence, but they both have the same aim: to erase and deny the fundamental humanity of transgender individuals.That is why we need the Equality Act to ultimately become law. The Equality Act would explicitly ban discrimination against LGBTQ people in the areas of employment, housing, education and public services. It would also amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to explicitly ban discrimination in public accommodations. While this pivotal piece of legislation languishes in the Republican-controlled Senate and faces a hostile White House, we need the Supreme Court to rule affirmatively in the current case before it on whether the minimal protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act apply to trans people. Correspondingly, beyond these legal actions, trans people need massive investments in our housing, economic opportunity, education, health care and restorative justice immediately. But we will only be able to reach fuller equality when the nearly 9 out of 10 Americans who say they don’t personally know anyone who is trans actually become invested in our survival. This means that allyship must move from a social media hashtag to actual civic action by millions. Only then will we be able to reach the point where Trans Day of Remembrance truly becomes an event to mark the forlorn past. *Adapted from an original article by Imara Jones in TruthOut.ORG PAGE 6 OF 15
#tRanSlASh faMIliA arT & wRitINg Here's some of the incredible art that was submitted anonymously in real-time at our #TDOR event in collaboration with Samsung. The TransLash fam used their tablets and other devices to create art inspired by their own experience.
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Am UeD F sH nTin a L s G CO N A n r #T WrITi & ARt
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TrANsLasH ShORt FIlM 'FAmiLy MAtTerS' TEsTimONiAlS "Families gathering for the holidays brings into focus this most elusive, but essential, of all human institutions–especially for trans people. That’s why I decided to dedicate the entirety of Episode 3 of TransLash to family in all its forms. The goal of TransLash is to tell Trans stories in order to save Trans lives during this time of social backlash. There is no greater story for all of us than family." – Imara Jones
The third episode of Translash was the episode that really touched me. I can’t imagine how nerve racking it is to come out at your family. It showed me that it may take time for a family to get used to their loved one’s transition, but that does change who that person is. They are still part of the family and they matter; they deserve unconditional love and support. It also left me feeling hopeful that families are getting more comfortable with a member of the family coming out as trans. Thank you for being so brave and telling your story for everyone to hear.
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' S r e nT. T t A , CO M y AlS L i i m 'FA imON T TEs
I really enjoyed the 3rd episode of Translash. I like that Imara Jones went to Albany to explore her family roots, as well discussed with others how coming out and finally being who they truly are has broken many ties with blood family and gave many hardships for trans folk. Though I think it was great to end the episode with touching on how even if they do not have ties with blood relatives, they can find family in friends and others who support them.
Trans people are humans. We are all humans. That makes them the same as anyone else in this world.
Imara said it best, if you don’t make your journey known, despite the backlash, you are not only erasing yourself, but also erasing the possibility of someone else’s story. Trans people of color aren’t embarking on this journey for themselves alone, they are doing so, so that others will find the confidence and strength so that future generations won’t have too. It’s no different than our parents walking with Dr. King or voting for Obama for the first times in their lives, they did so, so that we wouldn’t have to, but if we did, we know it’s a strong possibility that we are more than capable. Even in the Age of Trump, I find that bravery and resilience remarkable, because trans people have three strikes against them. Being a part of the LGBTQ community, being a person of color, and the identifying as a trans person, all three strikes and still they are fighting for equality, I believe if everybody was pro mind your business America would great again.
WAtCh 'FAmiLy MAtTerS': TrANsLasH.OrG/wATcH PAGE 14 OF 15
AFfiRmATiOnS "Self-definition and self-determination is about the many varied decisions that we make to compose and journey toward ourselves... It’s OK if your personal definition is in a constant state of flux as you navigate the world." - Janet Mock, IG: @janetmock Writer, television host, director, producer and transgender rights activist "I am 21 years old and overwhelmed. Feeling heavily in this world. Admitting this not a defeat, it’s important to recognize in order to prioritize necessary breaks! I will continue to strive towards what I believe our world could be. Just know, I have your back, best I can." - Chella Man, IG: @chellaman YouTuber, actor, model, artist, LGBTQ+ activist, deaf, genderqueer, and Jewish person of color "Being transgender is not just a medical transition. ... [It's about] discovering who you are, living your life authentically, loving yourself, and spreading that love towards other people and accepting one another." - Jazz Jennings, IG: @jazzjennings YouTube personality, actress, spokesmodel, and LGBT rights activist
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DECEMBER 2019 | VOLUME 1
sTay in toUCh, faM! @TrANsLasHmEDiA tRanSlASh.oRg/ConNEcT You can find us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram! Subscribe to our newsletter via the above link; we do weekly dispatches full of trans/non-binary/two-spirit/intersex-affirming news, culture, funding resources, and more.
BE A TrANsLasH ZIne COlLabORatOR
What did you think about our first-ever zine, and what should we feature in the next edition? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
StAY TUneD FOr 2020 ELecTIon COveRAge & ANalYsIS
We want to inspire as many historically marginalized people to vote as possible, including the nearly 1 in 5 LGBTQ+ people who are not registered to vote. Copyright © 2019 DCAP MEDIA LLC for TransLash. 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, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.