Things That Matter

These Artists And Activists Are Empowering Trans Lives Through Art

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is observed on Nov. 20 each year to mourn those lost to acts of anti-transgender violence. Trans women of color are the most likely to face these kinds of violent attacks. Gwendolyn Ann Smith founded the very first TDoR in 1999 and the event has grown every year since with tributes and celebrations of trans lives. Transgender Awareness Week, Nov. 13-17, is a week-long celebration of trans lives birthed from TDoR. Forward Together, a non-profit social justice organization, is collaborating with trans and non-binary artists of color and trans justice organizations across the country, to create original artwork for Trans Day of Resilience.

The Trans Day of Resilience art project is an extension and reimagining of Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Transgender Day of Resilience celebrated its fourth year highlighting trans artists and their community. It is an extension of the overall Trans Day of Remembrance by elevating trans and non-binary artists. Together the artists of color and trans-led organizations create artwork that both honors trans community members who have been killed and celebrates those who are still here. Jennicet Gutierrez, an activist for transgender rights and immigrant rights, says Transgender Day of Remembrance was a collaborative idea between Forward Together and Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement. She says it was suggested by organizers who want a way for people to visually understand the everyday lives of trans people in America.

“People are connecting with the messages these images and it has opened up many conversions.” Gutierrez said. “Art plays a key role in social justice and by doing this we feel we can uplift our trans communities.”

The artists are part of a nationwide network wanting to tell their stories and stories of their communities.

Artists from across the country created specific work that highlight the various people who make up the trans-community. Various non-profits sponsored each art piece and describe the story behind them. Gutierrez says that for many in the trans-community art is an escape and is a way to express their personal story through collective art.

“You can share these works and each people will interpret them in different ways, that’s the power of these pieces,” Gutierrez says. “Art has always been a key part of any social movement and this project we hope encourages those to take action.”

Violence against the trans community has risen steadily in recent years.

According to a report released by the Human Right Campaign, a national LGBTQ advocacy group, more than 20 people have been killed so far this year due to anti-transgender violence. The organization has tracked 128 anti-transgender homicides in the U.S. since 2013.

Prerna Sampat, a spokesperson with Forward Together, says that too often we only highlight trans during times of grief and by having art events we can bring awareness to trans lives.

“At a time when depictions of trans folks often center around suffering and death, we want to celebrate the lives of trans, gender non-conforming and non-binary people in the most unifying way through art,” Sampat said. “Art is fundamental to all social movements because it reconnects us to our deepest values, to what we hold sacred, and to each other.”


READ: Check Out These 9 Trans Activists On Instagram As They Fight For Justice And Equality

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NFTs: What Are They And What To Do With Them

Things That Matter

NFTs: What Are They And What To Do With Them

Non Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, have been all over the news lately. The latest version of digital currency is having a moment as everyone gets in on the craze. Here’s a quick breakdown on what they are, how you can get one, and what to do with them.

The world is buzzing about non-fungible tokens.

NFTs are the latest craze in digital currency. Superficially, it looks no different than buy art digitally. NFTs are unlike other forms of cryptocurrency in that they are blockchain-based assets. People are able to exchange Bitcoins with other Bitcoins or equivalent amounts in other digital currency. This is not the case for NFTs. NFTs are unique to themselves. This gives people the chance to own a specific token.

The owner of the digital image can then resell the image for a profit or a loss based on the future of the market. This means that the NFT you buy today could bring in a big profit or a breathtaking loss.

There is a lot of concern about the environmental impact creating the NFT community is causing. According to The New York Times, studies are showing that creating digital art to sell as NFTs is creating large carbon footprints that are negatively impacting the environment. Some in the community are looking for a solution while others think there is no changing the environmental impact.

There is still a lot of debate about how NFTs really work.

There is one explanation that is going viral on Twitter and has caused a whole discussion about what NFTs really are and how they are valued. Like all sellable items, NFTs get their value from supply and demand. Their irreproducibility adds to their value because it is a unique item that only you own, much like a piece of art.

The first high-profile piece of art to sell as an NFT was Mike Winkelmann’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days.” Winkelmann, also known as the digital artist Beeple, created a new piece of art every day for more than 13 years. The collage of these pieces of work sold by Christie’s for $69,346,250. The buyer was Vignesh Sundaresan, the founder of the Metapurse NFT project.

Yet, it is important to know that buying an NFT gives you ownership of the art, not the copyright.

“I think that people don’t understand that when you buy, you have the token [or NFT]. You can display the token and show you own the token, but, you don’t own the copyright,” Winkelmann, told CNBC Make It.

NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain.

As the popularity of NFTs continues to spike, so does the value of Ethereum. This means that if you want to get serious about the NFT investments you are seeing, you should consider getting yourself some Ethereum.

You can set up an account on Coinbase to start buying Ethereum if you are interested in joining in on the craze. Coinbase is a digital space where you can trade cryptocurrency.

If you want to get more into NFTs, check out mitú’s NFTs on OpenSea.

mitú is offering three different NFTs of the beloved Guacardo. The animated avocado is being sold in three “Lord of the Rings” inspired images. The bidding starts at 0.1 Ethereums (about $27). You can see the images on the mitú OpenSea page where the bidding has begun.

READ: Do You Combine Finances With Your Spouse? Latinas Answered!

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Doctored Image Of Ted Cruz In BDSM Gear Is Going Viral

Things That Matter

Doctored Image Of Ted Cruz In BDSM Gear Is Going Viral

An altered image of Sen. Ted Cruz in full BDSM gear is popping up all over social media right now. The conservative senator has sparked outrage from the nation several times during his career as a politician. Who could forget him taking a vacation to Mexico as Texans died from power outages connected to extreme winter weather?

This image of Sen. Ted Cruz first showed up in San Antonio.

@satxchill

Where you been Ted?! #fledcruz #cancruz #satx

♬ love – lofi.samurai

The photo has gone viral on social media after being photographed in San Antonio. The doctored image put Sen. Cruz’s face on the half-naked body of a man wearing a leather chest harness, leather boots, small underwear, gloves, and holding a riding crop. The body has “PROUD BOYS” tattooed across the stomach.

Some are offended for the man whose body is used in the image.

The image has sparked a conversation about fat, slut, and queer-shaming. It is never okay to shame people for their bodies, their sexual orientation, or their sexuality. The acting of shaming these things creates humiliation and dangerous prejudices against people.

But, the use of this imagery has a very specific and pointed message.

Sen. Cruz has a long history of opposing Pride parades, marriage equality, and the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in nondiscrimination orders. The senator also made headlines during his campaign for president for hiring an adult entertainer in an attack ad against Marco Rubio.

One of Sen. Cruz’s ads featured Amy Lindsay, who had a history of appearing in softcore pornographic films. The Cruz campaign tapped her to act in the ad and pulled it just as quickly when Lindsay’s acting history came to light.

Sen. Cruz is up for reelection in 2024.

Seems safe to say that some Texans are already trying to launch their own campaigns to defeat Sen. Cruz. The 2018 race for his seat against Beto O’Rourke showed the potential for unseating the incumbent as the demographics continue to shift in the Lone Star State. The 2020 election also showed that Texas could turn blue sooner than most ever expected.

READ: AOC Gets Under Ted Cruz’s Skin With Crack About His Mexican Getaway After He Accuses Her Of Pushing For ‘open borders’

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