Life seems pretty bleak post-November 9, and even moreso when you consider that 2016 has been declared the “deadliest year on record” for transgender individuals in America, with 24 trans people– predominantly women of color– murdered so far.
This week, GLAAD’s Transgender Awareness Week continues, culminating on Sunday with the Transgender Day of Awareness. Founded in 1998 by a trans advocate in honor of trans woman Rita Hester’s memory, TDOR has been commemorated every year by vigils and other community-based events. Here are several goings-on this week, fun and solemn alike, that are either directly affiliated with Trans Awareness Week or serve to spotlight and lift up trans and queer individuals or groups.
TransJustice’s Trans Day of Remembrance
Tuesday, November 15 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 5 pm to 8 pm: FREE
The Audre Lord Project’s TransJustice initiative will be holding space for all trans and gender non-conforming people and their allies in order to honor the memory of those lost to violence, the resiliency of the trans people of color, and general unity of the queer community. The space is wheelchair accessible and a “light dinner” will be served to those arriving early enough to partake.
Going Off Track Live With Laura Jane Grace
Tuesday, November 15 at Brooklyn Bazaar, 7:30 pm: $35 (includes copy of book).
Laura Jane Grace, frontwoman of punk band Against Me!, celebrates the launch of her new memoir Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout in an event co-presented by Vice’s Noisey and Brooklyn bookstore Word. The evening will feature readings, discussion, and a live acoustic performance by Grace, who came out publicly as trans in 2012.
Night Flights to Venus: Return of the Jedi
Tuesday, November 15 at The Dreamhouse, 7 pm doors, 7:30 pm show: $5-20 suggested donation.
New Ridgewood art and “queer community space” The Dreamhouse, born from the ashes of East Williamsburg queer space The Spectrum, presents a night of readings, songs, performances and more. The night, hosted by Aeliana Nicole Anderson, features a variety of works, including a spoken word piece dedicated to the memory of fallen trans people, a presentation on the future of hormone access while existing in a Trump presidency, a discussion on insight gained from decades of activism, and more.
Queering Institutions: Collecting, Preserving, & Presenting
Wednesday, November 16 at Fashion Institute of Technology, 6 pm: FREE
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art continues their Queer Culture Lecture and Performance Series with this panel discussion at FIT that delves into representation and preservation of queer art and artists. Since queer and trans creators are historically marginalized, many don’t make it into the art history books. Queer institutions have taken it upon themselves to preserve this body of work and re-instill these artists’s work and histories into the general public. The talk is moderated by College Art Association director Hunter O’Hanian and features individuals from Visual AIDS, the Lesbian Herstory Archives, and the Leslie-Lohman Museum.
Fight Training: Women, Trans Folks, Non-Binary and Gender Noncon
Thursday, November 17 at The Base, 7 pm to 9 pm.
In these tumultuous times, it can be highly valuable for at-risk groups to practice self-defense, and even more useful to be equipped with the right skills and know-how to safely do so. Bushwick “sociopolitical space” The Base is offering a “fight training skillshare” this Thursday geared at women as well as trans and gender non-conforming people, as part of their non-cumulative fight training series. All levels are welcome, including beginners, for a communal instructional evening that includes elements of basic martial arts training, Muay Thai, boxing, Tae Kwon Do, and other techniques.
The Center’s Trans Day of Remembrance
Thursday, November 17 at The LGBT Community Center, 7 pm to 9 pm: FREE
The Center, located on West 13th Street and home to over 400 community groups, hosts an evening of remembrance for the trans and gender non-conforming people they have lost featuring speakers, a Festival of Lights, opportunities for prayer and public sharing, educational information, snacks, and more. The night is open to all trans/GNC folk and their allies.
Brooklyn LGBTQ Youth Summit 2016
Saturday, November 19 at Sunset Park High School, 10 am to 3 pm, FREE
The Hetrick-Martin Institute, a stone’s throw away from the newly-redesigned Astor Place, takes over Sunset Park High School for a jam-packed afternoon dedicated to uplifting LGBTQ youth across the borough of Brooklyn and providing them resources and support. Several organizations will have tables set up, and there will be workshops, food, prizes, and a DJ. This is part of HMI’s LGBTQ Youth Summit series, offering other programs in each of the five boroughs in the coming months.
Baby Tea for T 2.0: A Trans Advocacy Fundraiser
Sunday, November 20 at Wise Men, 8 pm: $10-50 advance, $15-25 doors.
Wise Men, a small and swanky bar on the Bowery, will once again be the location for Tyler Ashley’s annual fundraiser edition of their Baby T party, hosted by a colorful crew of trans artists, performers, and nightlife fixtures. Though the night is focused on raising funds, they are also doing their best to be inclusive, with low-income pricing ($10) available as part of advance sales, all the way up to a $50 “activist ticket” which includes a free drink. Additionally, all purchases of drinks using Material Vodka (the evening’s sponsor) will also be donated to an organization benefiting trans rights and advocacy.
If you’re a homebody and don’t want to leave your bed, you can still make a difference with your wallet. Here are several organizations, nonprofits, and creative projects created by or benefitting the local transgender community.
Slater G. String’s Kitchen: Genderqueer performer, makeup artist, and vegan chef Slater G. String is aiming to produce a queer vegan cooking show webseries, where Slater will demonstrate many ways to cook vegan food that is simple and affordable. In each installment, she will also sit down for a meal and conversation with a Brooklyn-based performer/activist/artist to discuss issues ranging from systemic racism and bathroom laws to makeup and humor. Their fundraising goal, while lofty at first glance, also includes the sadly rare objective of n0t only producing a show, but paying everyone involved.
AntiViolence Project: This NYC-based organization empowers queer, trans, and HIV-affected people and seeks to raise awareness of violence against them and put an end to it. They also provide survivor support, such as counseling.
Trans Relief Project: In light of the election, TRP aims to help as many trans people as possible, through financial aid and other assistance, as they get their legal documents (including passports and legal names) changed to reflect their authentic identity. Lately response has been so staggering that at the moment, they’ve put a hold on donations and emails in order to improve their infrastructure and establish 501(c)3 status. In the time being, they request you follow them on Twitter at @transrelief and repost their information on why and how to make these changes happen.
Ali Forney Center: This nonprofit helps to eliminate queer and trans youth homelessness through providing transitional housing centers and other resources, including trans-specific resources like on-site hormone therapy and a trans housing program. They accept donations but also have an Amazon wishlist where they’ve listed items people can send them such as socks and thermal underwear, especially useful as the weather grows colder.
Sylvia Rivera Law Project: This collective organization is dedicated to protecting all people’s right to “self-determine their gender identity and expression,” via empowering low-income and POC trans and intersex people, fighting discrimination, and providing access to legal services.
Hetrick-Martin Institute: The East Village nonprofit center provides legal services, counseling, and other resources to at-risk LGBTQ youth.
Callen-Lorde Community Health Center: This health center has three locations in Manhattan and the Bronx aimed at the LGBTQ community, offering services like hormone prescription and transition assistance, PrEP, gynecological exams, STI testing, insurance counseling, surgery coordination, and more, regardless of patients’s ability to pay.