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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.

Rommy-Torrico-TransLatina-Coalition-Trans-Day-Resilience-TDOR
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.

Micah-Bazant-Audre-Lorde-Project-Trans-Day-Resilience-TDOR
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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If You Call Yourself A Frida Kahlo Fan Then You Should Be Following These Five Artists

Culture

If You Call Yourself A Frida Kahlo Fan Then You Should Be Following These Five Artists

Bettman Archives / Getty Images

So many of us have been moved the art of the late Frida Kahlo. Even in death she’s gone on to inspire entire generations with her Surrealist self-portraits, lush depictions of plant and animal life, and magical realist tableaux. Not to mention her incredible life story.

She also inspired future generations of artists, many of whom are alive today creating beautiful works of art. These are just a few of the artists who have similar techniques, subjects, and styles to Frida Kahlo that you’ll definitely love if you’re a fan of Frida Kahlo.

Maria Fragoso – Mexico City

Credit: Teach Me Sweet Things / Theirry Goldberg Gallery

Influenced by the style and narratives of Mexican surrealists and muralists, Maria Fragoso creates work that celebrates her Mexican culture, while also addressing notions of gender expression and queer identity. Her brightly colored canvases offer voyeuristic glimpses into intimate moments, with subjects engaging in acts that seem at once seductive and mischievous—often while gazing directly out at the viewer.

Recently featured in Forbes’s “30 Under 30” in the “Art and Style” category, the 25-year-old artist is quickly rising to prominence. Born and raised in Mexico City, Fragoso moved to Baltimore in 2015 to pursue her BFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art. While in school, Fragoso was the recipient of the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship at the Yale Norfolk School of Art. Since graduating, she has completed residencies at Palazzo Monti and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Nadia Waheed – Austin, Texas

Credit: Message from Janus / Mindy Solomon Gallery

Born in Saudi Arabia to Pakistani parents, Austin, Texas–based artist Nadia Waheed explores notions of relocation, displacement, and vulnerability in her work. Her life-size figurative paintings are both allegorical and autobiographical—the female figures represent her own lived experiences, as well as the multifaceted identities of all women.

Rodeo Tapaya – Philippines

Credit: Nowhere Man / A3 Art Agency

Rodel Tapaya paints dreamlike, narrative works based on myths and folklore from his native Philippines. Drawing parallels between age-old fables and current events, Tapaya reimagines mythical tales by incorporating fragments of the present. “In some way, I realize that old stories are not just metaphors. I can find connections with contemporary time,” Tapaya said in a 2017 interview with the National Gallery of Australia. “It’s like the myths are poetic narrations of the present.”

While the content of Tapaya’s work is inspired by Filipino culture, his style and literary-based practice is heavily influenced by Mexican muralists and Surrealist painters such as José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and, of course, Frida Kahlo. Often working at a large scale, Tapaya has been commissioned to create several site-specific murals, including one for Art Fair Philippines in February 2020.

Leonor Fini – Buenos Aires

Credit: Les Aveugles / Weinstein Gallery

Long overlooked in favor of male Surrealists, Leonor Fini, a contemporary of Kahlo, was a pioneering 20th-century force. Known for having lived boldly, Fini is recognized for her unconventional lifestyle, theatrical personality, and avant-garde fashion sense. Born in Buenos Aires in 1907, Fini was raised by her mother in Trieste, Italy. She taught herself to paint and first exhibited her work at the age of 17.

Fini had one of her first solo exhibitions at age 25 with a Parisian gallery directed by Christian Dior. Her work was then included in the groundbreaking exhibition “Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism” at MoMA in 1936, while at the same time she had her first New York exhibition with Julien Levy Gallery. Today, Fini’s work is represented in many major public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Tate Modern in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.

Ramon Alejandro – Miami

Credit: Eternal Life / Latino Art Core

José Ramón Díaz Alejandro, better known as Ramon Alejandro, paints idyllic still lifes of tropical fruits set in ethereal landscapes. The surrealistic compositions have a similar spirit to Kahlo’s less iconic but equally masterful still-life works

Coming from a long lineage of artists, Alejandro grew up with the artworks of his great-grandfather, grandfather, and uncle adorning the walls of his childhood home. After growing up in Havana, Alejandro was sent to live in Argentina in 1960 amidst political turmoil in Cuba, and has continued to live in exile since then.

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Recognizing Its Diversity Issue, Argentina Is Working To Add More Transgender Workers To Its Labor Force

Things That Matter

Recognizing Its Diversity Issue, Argentina Is Working To Add More Transgender Workers To Its Labor Force

Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress via Getty Images

Argentina has long been a progressive bastion in Latin America. It was one of the first countries in the region to allow same-sex marriage and also has anti-discrimination laws in many cities. It’s also been a beacon of hope for the transgender community, with the government long allowing individuals to choose their self-perceived identity regardless of their biological sex.

However, transgender workers still face immense discrimination and that has left a reported 95% of the community without formal employment. To help try and address this issue, the nation’s leaders have instituted a program to ensure that at least 1% of the workforce is made up of trans workers. It’s an ambitious task but the government is already making progress.

Argentina launched a program to ensure better transgender representation in the workforce.

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández signed a decree in September establishing a 1 percent employment quota for transgender people in the public sector. The law went into effect on January 1 and its aim is to bring more trans workers into the formal economy.

According to Argentina’s LGBTQ community, 95 percent of transgender people do not have formal employment, with many forced to work in the sex industry where they face violence.

“If all the institutions implemented the trans quota, it would change a lot for many of my colleagues. It would change the quality of their lives and they would not die at 34, or 40, which is their life expectancy today,” Angeles Rojas, who recently landed a job at a national bank, told NBC News.

There are no official figures on the size of the transgender community in Argentina, since it was not included in the last 2010 census. But LGBTQ organizations estimate there are 12,000 to 13,000 transgender adults in Argentina, which has a population topping 44 million.

Few countries in the world are stepping up to help trans workers quite like Argentina.

Argentina has long prided itself on its progressive policies. The nation was one of the first in the Americas to recognize same-sex unions and several cities have anti-discrimination laws aimed at protecting the LGBTQ community.

In 2012, Argentina adopted an unprecedented gender identity law allowing transgender people to choose their self-perceived identity regardless of their biological sex. The law also guarantees free access to sex-reassignment surgeries and hormonal treatments without prior legal or medical consent.

Worldwide, only neighboring Uruguay has a comparable quota law promoting the labor inclusion of transgender people. And a law such as this one has the potential to greatly impact the lives of transgendered Argentinians.

Despite the program, transgender people still face enormous challenges in Argentina.

A recent report by the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Trans People published in December said “the vast majority of trans women in the region have sex work as their sole economic and subsistence livelihood.”

It goes on to say: In Latin America and the Caribbean transgender people have their right to work violated along with all their human rights, and this takes place “in a context of extreme violence.”

Despite legal protections, Argentina’s trans community remains at risk. Many of the country’s trans citizens live in the Gondolín, a building in the Buenos Aires’ Palermo neighborhood, for protection and strength in numbers.

There have been advances in Argentina. This year, Diana Zurco became the first transgender presenter of Argentine television news, Mara Gómez was authorized by the Argentine Football Association to play in the professional women’s league and soprano María Castillo de Lima was the first transgender artist to go on stage at Teatro Colón.

However, the gap between the equality established by law and the real one remains large, warned Ese Montenegro, a male transgender activist hired as an adviser to the Chamber of Deputies’ women’s and diversity commission.

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