Culture

These Artists are Proving that You Don’t Know Sh•t about How Strong the Trans Community Is

If you think the trans community is full of people who are scared and need your sympathy, you’re wrong. Really wrong.  Transgender and gender non-conforming artist across the country are making some sick, trans power art honoring and celebrating the resilience of the trans community in honor of Trans Day of Remembrance. You have to check this out.

Each artist partnered with an organization working for trans rights. Together, they created posters for the organization.

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Credit: Rommy Torrico / Trans Day of Resilience Art Project

Artist Rommy Torrico said, “As a trans individual and artist, I understand how necessary it is for the communities that are being marginalized to be the ones who are at the forefront of their own liberation.

Rommy was partnered with TransLatin@ Coalition, whose mission is to advocate for laws that preserve human and civil rights, health care, as well as social and cultural inclusion.

The art project blends art, activism, and social awareness in the fight for social justice.

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Credit: Micah Bazant / Trans Day of Resilience

Artist Micah Bazant said, “It’s truly an honor to work with the trans visionaries at Audre Lorde Project and the incredible allies at Forward Together, and build new ways of transforming the world through art and organizing, together.”

The Audre Lorde Project focuses on the New York City community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirited, trans and gender non-conforming people of color. Micah Bazant’s poster captures the organizations fight for trans freedom, which is freedom from violence, deportations, and prisons/detention centers.

READ: Why This Transgender Mexicana Picked This Biblical Name

There are 31 states that do not offer discrimination protect to transgender people. One in ten people have been evicted from their homes due to their gender identity.

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Credit: Mojuicy / Trans Day of Resilience

Artist Mojuicy said, “It has been a complete honor to work with Transgender Law Center for this year’s Trans Day Of Remembrance. To try and capture the beauty, strength, and resilience of our transgender sisters in detainment was both a challenge and honor to execute respectfully.

Mojuicy’s partner organization, the Transgender Law Center, has been working with government officials since 2002 to change law and policy on the state and national level to make life safer for the trans community.

The suicide rate among transgender people is at 41 percent while the national average is closer to 4.6 percent. Sixty-nine percent of homeless transgender individuals have attempted suicide.

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Credit: Adelina Cruz / Trans Day of Resilience

Artist Adelina Cruz said, “For me, participating in this project means that I accept the responsibility and commitment in supporting the trans justice movement leadership visually, with beautiful artwork that aims to elevate trans women’s lives with respect and dignity.

Cruz, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, worked with a smaller group called New Mexico Trans Women of Colour Coalition. The coalition’s mission is to create an environment of sisterhood to enhance the fight against violence and injustices against trans women of color.

READ: Victoria Villalba, an Undocumented Transgender Activist Inspiring Change

The Trans Day of Resilience Art Project wants you to remember that transgender individuals are strong and will overcome.

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Credit: Bishakh Som / Trans Day of Resilience

Artist Bishakh Som said, “I am thrilled to work with Buried Seedz of Resistance and Forward Together on the Transgender Day of Remembrance/Resilience 2015: Culture Shift project and to have the opportunity to channel the power of art in the service of Queer/Trans justice.

Buried Seedz, Bishakh Som’s organization partner, is a youth powered organization using art, education, and community organizing to encourage young LGBTQ people to stand up for justice and empower them to take action.

The Trans Day of Resilience Art Project was a combined effort of Forward Together, Micah Bazant, and Strong Families.

Like this story? Share it with your friends so everyone can learn a little bit more about how art can be used to promote activism and social justice.

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Ricky Martin Opens Up On Being A Queer Latino And Talks New Music In Powerful New Interview

Entertainment

Ricky Martin Opens Up On Being A Queer Latino And Talks New Music In Powerful New Interview

Mike Windler / Getty Images

Ricky Martin has long been an international superstar – even long before ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ took over virtually every airway in the world. But it’s hard to deny that with that song, the Puerto Rican singer entered the global mainstream and ever since he’s been a pop icon.

From being one of the first major pop stars to publicly come out as gay, to acting in popular TV series, and getting married and becoming a father of four, Ricky Martin has always been a very busy man.

And despite a global pandemic that has forced all of us to stay at home and find a ‘new normal,’ Martin has forged a path forward. He recently sat down for an interview with Billboard to discuss everything from new music, the global Coronavirus pandemic, and his identity as an out and proud gay Latino.

Considering we’re all still living amid a global pandemic, the Billboard interview started on this very relevant topic.

Billboard points out that Martin and his family live in a very big and beautiful house in Beverly Hills, which likely makes staying at home a bit easier compared to the rest of us. However, Martin points out that he has a very loud home – with four kids and his mom all living under one roof. But he admits, “…I am very lucky. I am in a comfortable home where my kids can play.”

Ricky Martin is also working on new music. He released Pausa in May, and now as he works on new music the world is a very different place. He told Billboard: “I started working on my music maybe nine months ago. In my mind, the album was going to be called Movimiento, which means movement. But with all this [pandemic], it just told me… “The way it was, was not working. Let’s do it differently.” I have music with rhythm, but I was not going to tell people to move! So I named it Pausa.”

He also speaks about his close relationship with fellow Puerto Rican, El Conejo Malo.

Shortly after Billboard released its history-making cover with Bad Bunny on the the cover, Martin described San Benito as a “Latin queer icon.” Many people – of all backgrounds – took issue with that. But Ricky Martin tells Billboard that “allies are so important. Without them, our fight for equality is impossible. It really tickles me to see Bad Bunny as a gay icon — just like Cher could be. Why not?”

The Puerto Rican singer shared what his coming out experience was like and reveals he never tires of sharing it.

In the interview, Martin is very open about his coming out as gay. The singer came out as gay in 2010, married husband Jwan Yosef in 2017, and together the couple is raising four children.

Rolling Stone asked Martin, 48, what it was like to remain closeted during “the most public, exposed period” of his life.

“I had moments of extreme positivity, and not so positive [moments],” Martin answered. “Life was a bit on steroids in those days. Everything was really intense, but I could take it! I come from a school of military discipline when it comes to training for music, dance, and acting. I started when I was 12. So for me, it was about not being ready to open [up]. When you open an egg from the outside, what comes out is death. But when the egg opens from the inside, what comes out is life. It’s something that needs to come from within. Every time someone forces someone to come out, what you’re doing is you’re destroying the natural flow of the self-discovery.”

When asked what motivated him to come out publicly, Martin said that a kid somewhere in America needs to see positive headlines about coming out.

“Today I woke up to this beautiful headline that I know someone out there is in need of. The headline was something like, ‘I came out. And ever since I’ve been the happiest.’ Something like that, something… My heart is beating faster because I know today a kid somewhere in America woke up needing to hear those words. A lot of people say they get tired of talking about the same thing. Why would I? Are you kidding me? For so many years I had to keep it inside. And then the effect of someone… What people are getting from it in their healing process?”

Billboard also asked Martin his feelings on how the media is profiting and accepting Puerto Rican and Latinx culture.

When asked if he feels that the American media has gotten better or more open to understanding Puerto Rican culture, Martin responded: “We certainly have a long way to go, but the important thing is that we see that there’s an audience that is interested. And it’s up to us to bring [the] education.”

And he’s absolutely right. This year has seen several Latino artists rise to the top of all sorts of charts. Bad Bunny and J Balvin are among the most streamed artists globally and Bad Bunny is one of the most streamed artists on YouTube as well.

Meanwhile, Maluma and Jennifer Lopez are working on a film that will be out early next year. The Emmy’s, VMAs, and other award shows finally had decent representation of artists of color – particularly among the Latinx community.

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The Pope Tells Parents of LGBT Children That ‘God Loves Your Children As They Are.’

Things That Matter

The Pope Tells Parents of LGBT Children That ‘God Loves Your Children As They Are.’

Pope Francis is, once again, making headlines for his progressive views on contemporary issues. Since his election to papal office in 2013, Pope Francis has largely been considered open-minded due to his comparatively laid-back stances on controversial topics like divorce, climate change, and LGBT issues.

On Thursday, the Jesuit publication American Magazine reported that Pope Francis recently told the parents of LGBT children that “God loves your children as they are.”

via Getty Images

According to the publication, the Pope was having a dialogue with the parent of a lapsed-Catholic gay child who had left the church because “he did not feel accepted in his diversity”. The woman, whose name is Mara Grassi, is the Vice President of an association called “Jonathan’s Tent,” which “welcomes and provides information and formation to L.G.B.T. Christians, their families and pastoral workers.”

Before describing her interaction with the Pope, Grassi explained her journey as a Catholic parent of a gay child to American Magazine. “For many years I was like a blind person,” she said.

“After I came to know that my son was homosexual, I suffered a lot because the rules of the church made me think that he was excluded from the love of God. Nobody helped me,” Grassi added.

via Getty Images

It was only when Grassi attended a Catholic vigil against homophobia and connected with other parents of gay children that she realized that “faith and homosexuality are not in opposition” and that “God loves my son as he is.” And according to this most recent report, the Pope’s opinion seems to be in accordance with Grassi’s beliefs.

Grassi told American Magazine that she told the Pope she wanted to “create a bridge to the church so that the church too can change its way of looking at our children, no longer excluding them but fully welcoming them.” It was in response to this statement that the Pope told her: “The church loves your children as they are because they are children of God.”

According to the same report, before he left, Jonathan’s Tent gifted the Pope a rainbow-colored T-shirt with the words “In love there is no fear” written across the front.

Considering the Catholic Church’s traditionally conservative stances on gay issues, the Pope’s statement was surprising to many. In the past, the Catholic Church’s stance has been that homosexuality is “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to natural law.”

The Pope himself also has a complicated track record on gay rights, implying that gay marriage “threatens” the “very institution of marriage”. However, he has also previously expressed sympathy and modest support for people in the queer community as well as their loved ones, saying “If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?”.

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