Just when it seemed like the world was taking a step in the wrong direction regarding Trans equality when the US Supreme Court allowed Trump’s transgender ban for the military, a number of campaigns have provided transgender people with hope that they have support whilst continuing to fight for their rights.
However in this blog post, I will not focus on the negative events that have occurred recently for the transgender and GNC community. I would like to focus on the advances from larger organisations this week which have came through to show support and showcase trans and non-binary excellence. The first is the Chime for Change zine from Gucci and the second is the Amplify – They Power, a digital cover story from Gay Times.
Both of these publications showcase some amazing work from 2 POWERHOUSES within the GNC community Jamie Windust and Wednesday. Alongside these two, an amazing calibre of other queer writers, artists and activists are featured such as Travis Alabanza and Alok Vaid-Menon to name a few. They both have are amazing creatives with amazing work. Jamie (who I have mentioned multiple times on this blog) is the Editor in Chief of FRUITCAKE Magazine, a publication written by solely the LGBTQIA+ community. They have become a striking advocate for the non-binary community with the publication of their magazine along with their public speaking at a number of events educating people about their community with poise and eloquence.
Wednesday, a non-binary artist, has produced some of the most awe-inspiring art I have come across, each with a message to advocate for the queer community. Just take a look at their Instagram, it is literally full of positivity and beauty. Their art focuses on issues such as misgendering, mental health and transphobia. Their work communicates strong messages but in a beautiful way, I find that the meaning behind each of their art is so sharp, yet the actual art provides each message in such a candid and light hearted way.
The first campaign I will be focusing on is the Chime for Change zine from Gucci. Created in 2013 and paired up with Beyonce and Salma Hayek to fight for gender equality and women empowerment. The new chapter that was unveiled this week continues with the main focus of gender equality, however includes more of our non-binary siblings and I am totally here for it. The zine is introduced with empowering messages about changing society including the quote below.
“WHAT YOU ARE HOLDING IS NOT ONLY AN OBJECT OF BEAUTY, IT IS A TOOL THAT CAN CONNECT US TO EACH OTHER AND IS THEREFORE SOMETHING GREATER THAN OURSELVES” – Adam Eli (community organiser and writer for Chime for Change)
I feel that this message is more important than ever recently, as I find there is not enough mediums showcasing Trans/GNC people. They have all existed within our communities for longer than you would think, so why are some people still seeing it as a trend?. Visibility is what is needed for us to keep fighting for equality. I can recognise myself as a white cis gay man that although I may have had prejudice due to my sexual orientation, I will not know how it feels to be judged, abused and assaulted because of my race, gender or disability. This will not stop me from being an ally for everyone within the LGBTQIA+ community as we need to stand a united front of solidarity. I feel education and providing a platform for the Trans/GNC community, especially people of colour, to have their voiced heard is essential as well as praising credit where it is due.
This publication also showcases the art of one of my favourite artists on Instagram, Wednesday. As I mentioned above their art is quite political when it comes to human rights activism, but manages to portray the messages of their art in a vibrant and eye catching way. They created a small zine for Gucci explaining ways your can advance gender equality in your everyday life, which will be able to help anyone who wishes to be an ally actually forward the equality debate and stand with the people who need it. Now.
The second campaign is the Amplify – They Power digital cover story from Gay Times. This consists of a number of interviews by Jamie Windust with Alok Vaid-Menon, Hawk Snipes, Dee Trannybear and Devin-Norelle, all who identify as Trans/GNC. Though Gay Times is probably not read as much by the straights, the exposure for more non-binary and trans people will educate the members and allies in the queer community in understanding them and provide us with ways in which we can support them. I can say that a year ago I was really not educated in GNC and non-binary people, but since then I have delved into the queer excellence that is available on Instagram. This exposed me to the variety of voices, opinions and debates which I had never even considered were happening within our community.
I’ve just realised I was talking about myself again and this is not what this blog post is about. SNAP. OUT. OF. IT. DEAN. Anyway back to Amplify, Jamie asks these beautiful individuals an array of questions from ways in which we can explore our femininity to using pronouns such as ze/zim. Jamie’s introduction is a great setting out for identifying the problems that trans/GNC people face in everyday life. They identify not only the struggles that they face from the public, but also with themselves being self criticising due to the high standards that they have set themselves. I personally have only followed Jamie for about 9 months, however the amount of times they have stunned me, I see them at a very high standard and have the utter most respect for them and what they do.
To conclude my sweets, this week has been amazing for the exposure of the trans and gender non-conforming community. The organisations who have provided them with a platform to tell their story have set a bar for other magazines/companies to follow. We are still a long way off the equality that these people deserve, however these publications are a step in the right direction.
Peace, Love and Pinot…
Jamie Windust – @leopardprintelephant
Wednesday – @hellomynameiswednesday
Travis Alabanza – @travisalabanza
Alok Vaid-Menon – @alokvmenon