ActivismSex & Gender
10 black queer & trans badasses who did dope sh*t in 2017
December 21, 2017
The 2017 Montreal pride parade that took place on August 20 was interrupted during a minute of silence by members of the Black Lives Matter movement. Organizers of Black Queer Lives Matter decided to disrupt the minute of silence during the parade because of Pride’s whitewashing and complicity in the erasure of its Black and racialized origins.
2. Trans activist Reina Gossett brings Marsha P Johnson’s life to the screen, stands up against erasure:
According to trans activist Reina Gossett, David France, the filmmaker behind the Netflix documentary The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson, stole his ideas from her, and a film she made with Sasha Wortzol called Happy Birthday Marsha!
“He told the people who worked there -i shit you not- that he should be the one to do this film, got a grant from Sundance/Arcus using my language and research about STAR, got Vimeo to remove my video of Sylvia’s critical ‘y’all better quiet down’ speech, ripped off decades of my archival research that i experienced so much violence to get, had his staff call Sasha up at work to get our contacts then hired my and Sasha’s *ADVISOR* to our Marsha film Kimberly Reed to be his producer. And that’s just the shit I have the spoons to name,” Gossett wrote on Instagram.
3. Trans model Munroe Bergdorf denounces racism, hired by rival brand after being dropped by L’Oréal:
Bergdorf, who was the first transgender model to star in a L’Oréal campaign, had posted a since-deleted status on Facebook following the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA that read in part:
“Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people anymore. Yes ALL white people. Because most of ya’ll don’t even realise or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of colour. Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this shit.”
Somehow, the hypocritical L’Oréal used this to claim that Munroe Bergdorf was “at odds with [it’s] values”—their excuse for firing her. They were probably so engrossed in white supremacy that they thought no one would back her up. They were wrong.
Preston, who was recently appointed editor-in-chief of Wear Your Voice magazine, claimed Jenner committed the “ultimate betrayal” of the trans community by supporting #45, who has an extensive history of antagonism towards trans people. Jenner even wore a “Make America Great Again” hat days after the president announced his transgender military ban.
One of the most historic outcomes of this year’s election day was the election of Andrea Jenkins to Minneapolis City Council who, along with Virginia’s Danica Roem, became one of two of the first openly trans people to win publicly elected positions (Althea Garrison was elected in Massachusetts in 1992, but her identity was outed).
Jenkins has the additional recognition of being the first openly transgender woman of color.
Master of None writer Lena Waithe took home one of the top prizes for her work on the Aziz Ansari Netflix series. It was later announced that she would join the series Dear White People in its second season.
7. Elle Hearnes launches The Marsha P. Johnson Institute, leads calls to #BoycottBreakfastClub following anti-trans violence:
The Breakfast Club and its co-hosts have a history of misogynoir against Black women, cis and trans alike. Just last year Charlamagne chastised Black women for not being more like racist white woman and his friend Tomi Lehren. It is well past time WWPR-FM and iHeartRadio begin answering for the hatred perpetuated on the show.
This petition by the Marsha P. Johnson Foundation led calls to #BoycottBreakfastClub. The mission of The Marsha P Johnson Institute (MPJI) is to create a crucial entry point for Black trans women and gender non-conforming femmes to obtain the skills, financial and programmatic resources necessary in advocating for an end to violence against all trans people.
When Atlanta couple Kordale Lewis and Kaleb Anthony posted this photo of themselves doing their daughter’s hair in 2014 on Instagram, the beautiful expression of a modern Black queer family immediately went viral.
Since then, the family has built a large following, their star eventually grabbing the attention of high-end fashion brand Acne Studios, who has made the family the face of its Fall/Winter 2017 campaign.
To be black, disabled and queer in this world (more especially on the African continent) is to face a multi-layered avalanche of discrimination and adversity from the day you’re born. Eddie Ndopu is a South African civil rights activist who has dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of disabled people of colour. Early last year he became Africa’s first disabled student to be accepted into Oxford University. He was accepted and awarded a scholarship to the Blatvnik School of Government’s Masters in Public Policy programme. But the scholarship didn’t include the $33 000 needed to pay for his automated wheelchair and around the clock caregiver. The scholarship itself was yet another scathing reminder of his difference. He reacted to this deflating revelation with his quintessential fighting spirit. He started the OxfordEddieCated crowd funding campaign which managed to raise enough funds to allow him to attend his first term at the renowned institution. He now needs to raise more to attend his next term whilst he seeks more sustainable avenues of funding for his study.
There are thousands of online make-up artists to follow on Instagram and YouTube, but what about trans and gender non-conforming artists? What about artists who are welcoming towards us? We compiled a list of our favorite artists to look out for.
Get The Latest
Signup for the AFROPUNK newsletter