The funding provided will help Black Trans Art stay alive through sustenance, creativity, performance and mentorship for younger generations to come. Helping this work prosper will help support the leadership and unique voices for trans communities across the world. As the presence of this virus has grown, spaces for the artist have declined. The voices of black transgender artists are necessary, especially during these uncertain times. Help us continue to find the words or ways to say the things many may find too difficult to say. Help us to create the content to continue to have the difficult conversations. Allow our innovation to continue igniting change and re-imagination in the world you see around you. Help us continue to help you.
Linda LaBeija of the House of LaBeija interviews Mizz June about her artistic visions and the larger place of trans narratives in the cultural landscape. Each year, La MaMa’s Squirts gathers the most exciting voices from New York City’s queer performance world, across the generations. This year, three trans women artists with deep community roots will each craft a night of the festival, marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.
In the world of drag, many aspiring queens are taken under the wing of a “mother” for makeup lessons, guidance, and support. The harsh reality for a lot of young LGBTQ people includes being exiled from their homes; in chosen families like these, they can find the support their blood-related families and society deny them.
The House of LaBeija is the oldest and most revered house in New York’s drag and ballroom scene, where members of competing houses walk the runway and vogue battle in glamorous looks, posing the house down for a roaring audience that celebrates the freedom of expression, femininity, and queerness. The house was founded in 1977 by legendary queen Crystal LaBeija, who wanted to foster an environment in which her black and brown sisters could live their truth and didn’t have to lighten their faces with makeup to fit into a discriminatory standard of beauty; it rose to more mainstream fame in the ’80s and ’90s after being featured in Jennie Livingston’s Paris Is Burning....