I remember when you spoke your truth, ten years ago, back in 2011, and I remember when I heard about this show you were making, feels like longer ago than 2017. I read your books too, feeling myself and my history in the story of another, so close and so distant. And I cannot put into words the joy and sadness and love I felt and feel watching Pose, seeing you and all the beautiful trans women and trans femmes on screen, Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Angelica Ross, Hailie Sahar, Our Lady J, Black and Brown and Puerto Rican and Dominican and Latina, immigrant and children of immigrants, whose lives are as real as the story you fought to tell.
That wedding banquet. All the trans women and femmes at that table. That wedding. That fantasy that was never ours, the church, the dress, the vows, Janet, the vows! Papi! Lil Papi. I loved him from the first ’cos he was so full of love and pure and so fearless when it came to defending his family. And that kiss. You went all the way. When I saw your name at the start of the episode, yours alone, Writer and Director: Janet Mock, I knew. I knew it would be this. I knew it would be us.
I rewatched both seasons of Pose the other day. Fuck the Emmys and fuck cis people.
It’s not about the awards. It’s about the awards. Even being nominated opens up possibilities for better pay, working conditions, opportunities, longevity, recognition, not only for the person or show nominated but for everyone involved. Not just for them but for those in the audience who need to see themselves or people close enough to themselves to feel seen in return for once.
It’s about representation for us. For queer and straight cis people it’s seeing trans people – especially Black, Indigenous, Brown trans femmes – as something other than sex workers, drug addicts, corpses, and things to be laughed at, seeing us as people with full lives and communities and love. For the majority of cis people – queer and straight – they don’t have any trans people in their lives, let alone Black, Indigenous, or brown ones. What they do have, if they even think of us, is cis people talking about and representing us and portraying us, standing in our places like we’re not good enough, like we don’t exist.
Billy Porter being nominated twice while none of the trans women and femmes in front or behind the camera have ever got a look in, that’s a lesson right there in who’s valid, who’s seen as real and legitimate. Similarly, Zendaya being nominated while Hunter Schafer wasn’t. And straight up, I love watching both her and Billy and yes, they deserve it. But if they deserve it, if Euphoria deserves it, so does Pose, so do Indya Moore, Mj Rodrigiez, Dominique Jackson, Hailie Sahar, Angelica Ross, so do Janet Mock, Our Lady J, and saying their names so do Trace Lysette, Bianca Castro, Cecilia Gentili, Leiomy Maldonado, Brielle ‘Tati’ Rheames, and so do the hundreds of other trans women and femmes in front and behind the cameras.
Almost every day I see another Black trans woman or femme murdered in the US and another white cis man pushing to legislate us out of existence. That’s one country, and don’t think it’s not the same or worse in your other countries. Season 2, episode 4, “Never Knew Love Like This Before”, where Candy is murdered and the aftermath of that, fighting to claim her body, scraping money together for a dignified funeral, her parents misgendering her, the grief and loss and anger, all that is way too real. And let’s not forget, Pose is a fantasy, it’s a story where the reality of trans women and femme’s lives is not shown like a documentary, we don’t need to see that brutality when we know and live it. If it was doing realism, it would have scared you straights and cis queers right off, and there wouldn’t have been a Season 2 ’cos most of the cast would have died between 1987 and ’90.
You all want RuPaul’s Drag Race, you want Yaaas Queen Slay! and you want Shaaade! but you don’t want to learn anything. You want LGB but only when it’s palatable and the T ain’t that. You want the glamour but not the politics. You want the glamour but only on cis men’s bodies. You want women but not when they serve like Pose does. Seeing Black and Afro-Latinx trans women and femmes living for themselves, centring themselves, defining femininity on their terms, defining queer and LGB for themselves, you can’t accept this. You can’t reward this. You need to deal with your discomfort, and yeah, your racism and femmephobia and transphobia and transmisogyny and misogynoir. You don’t even know how amazing these women and femmes are off-camera. We celebrate them for all they they are because of all this.
Big news!! Its with great pleasure that I wish to announce that I’ve been named a 2018 Sidney Myer Creative Fellow, one among 8 exceptional artists. This prestigious biennial award seeks to provide support to a group of mid-career artists (across all disciplines) and arts workers, who are judged by a panel of national peers as demonstrating the qualities of “outstanding talent and exceptional courage”. I’m honoured to receive this support and recognition of my work, and doubly so to share it with such an outstanding cohort which includes 3 #FirstNations artists: myself, Merindah Donnelly and Jonathan Jones. I was nominated for the fellowship by @emmmwebb and refereed by @hettiperkins, two forces of nature who humble me with their support. My thanks to them, to the Myer foundation and to the panel. 🙌🏼🙏🏽💥🖤💛❤️
One of the first freelance jobs I got in Berlin was salvaging a website for Christian Ender. Over the past three years, I’ve looked after imdialog, taken care of two other sites for Christian, and he has become one of my good friends here. A couple of weeks ago he called me and explained he was being awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz for his work that these websites document over the past years.
Last Friday, he was awarded the medal by the Staatssekretär, and following that, a long lunch and many drinks with a large group of friends and family.
I am very happy for Christian to have all his work recognised — for Werner Bab and “Zeitabschnitte”, for Gunter Kroemer and “Bedrohtevölker” — and for him to receive the recognition he is due.
And at the end of the month, he departs for South America with a camera.
Something to celebrate because I lost all track of time. Adelaide’s Fringe Festival is over, which I’ve only ever experience for a couple of days in 2008. Beautiful Daniel had his first solo there this year, bits of which he played with while in Berlin, nearly a year ago, and 8 months since he properly left, three since I last saw him.
Too Far Again, Not Far Enough… won two awards, the Adelaide Festival Centre inSPACE:development Award, and Adelaide Fringe Award for Best Dance. Poo I wasn’t there to get hideously trashed on Absinthe at our favourite La Boheme. O-well. Congratulations Daniel, you deserve it.
At first I wasn’t going to blog this, you know, another smarmy round of greasy dandruff-ridden back-slapping and syphilitic self-congratulation, all so very right-on yeah! and it’s a duty to enjoy it, like stuffing hemorrhoids back up after your morning dump. But then I read the categories for nominations, and thought ooo! this could get nasty, my kinda shindig.
Nominations are now open for Melbourne’s first annual Trans Revolutionary Achievement and Non-Achievement Awards (TRAANAA), otherwise known as the Trannys.
Nominations can be made for the following categories:
7. Best Example of Simultaneous Racism, Sexism and Transphobia from A ‘GLBTIQ’ Perspective
8. The Harry Benjamin Award for the Most Inappropriate Comment by a Psychiatrist
9. The Milli Vanilli Award for the Most Lazy and Uninspired Drag Performance of 2006
10. The TransAmerica Award for the Most Conservative Trans Movie
12. The Ratbag Award for the Most Incorrigible Gender-Variant Upstart
13. The Red Tape Award for the Most Time Consuming Gender Related Administrative Nightmare
15. The Token Award for the Best Performance of Trans-Friendliness Without the Action to Back it Up
I don’t especially consider myself blgt, that is bi-lesbian-gay-transsexual (not that I’m about to get into a semantic discourse after two glasses of wine and a block of chocolate), and I’ve never thought of supernaut as a blog about these things. I write about trannys simply because that’s what I am; I write about dance because that’s what I do and as dancing has shaped me in no lesser way than being transsexual, that too is what I am; I write about Melbourne, Guangzhou, Zürich only because I’ve lived in these places – insofar as I am any nationality it is from the places I have lived.
I’m a bit confused by the implications of being placed in this category, as I have a very oblivious understanding of how I am perceived, both in the blog world and the real. Possibly though it’s not about me at all, and all about Mimi, Lady, and Harisu.
Anyway, there are lots of blogs worth checking out in all the categories, and if you really like, you can vote for me.