Artists and Writers

EDXIE BETTS

EDXIE BETTS is a Black Blackfoot Filipina/Trans/Queer liberation artist and autonomous organizer. Their work is centered around advocating for non-white queer and trans communities, and bringing support and attention to political prisoners and restorative-mediation work. They emphasize art as cultural production for the sake of inspiring healing, political education, counter narrative, oppositional alternatives, cultivating resistance through self-organizing and direct action.

"For me, this project is a great way for us as TGNC folx of color to shift the focus on struggles and tragedies many of us face into powerful reimaginings and meaningful experiences that illuminate our collective resilience. To do what the State has failed to do, or intentionally has not done: which is to archive our stories, lives and existence. It’s so very important for our stories to be told. Once upon a time before colonization we were seen as sacred contributors to our ancestral communities. What strengths would our futures hold if we took into account the values of our torrid and colonized past?”

jayy dodd

jayy dodd is a blxk trans femme from los angeles, california – now based on the internet. they are a professional writer & literary editor. their work has appeared / will appear in Broadly, The Establishment, Entropy, LitHub, BOAAT Press, Duende, & Nashville Review among others. they’re the author of [sugar in the tank] (Pizza Pi Press 2016) & Mannish Tongues (Platypus Press 2017). their collection The Black Condition ft. Narcissus is forthcoming on Siren Song / CCM Press. they are a Pushcart Prize nominee, co-editor of Bettering American Poetry. their work has been featured in Teen Vogue & Entropy. find them talking trash online or taking a selfie.

“This opportunity to collaboratively build the archive of trans/gnc narratives both as a celebration & defiance is unspeakably meaningful. I continue to revel in the magnitude & urgency of this project & feel honored to have my work align itself here.”

Benji Hart

Benji Hart is a Black, queer, femme artist and educator currently living in Chicago. They are the writer behind the blog Radical Faggot, and have essays featured in the anthologies Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief (2017) and Taking Sides: Radical Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism (2015), both from AK Press. Their writing has also been published in Truthout, Salon Magazine, Socialist Worker, and other feminist and abolitionist media.

While formally certified as an elementary educator, their teaching philosophy is grounded in popular education, and relies on art to inspire resistance and direct action. Their areas of expertise include the dance form vogue, spoken word poetry, trans and queer history, and prison and police abolition. They have taught voguing to trans and queer youth at the Chicago Cultural Center, the Broadway Youth Center, and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, and have offered workshops on a range of political topics to such groups as Assata’s Daughters, Chicago Desi Youth Rising, For the People Artists Collective, and others."

It has been a blessing to be a small part of Trans Day of Resilience, to work alongside so many other artists and writers I admire, and strengthen my practice under their guidance. The opportunity to meditate on the themes of loss and celebration, exploring the inherent bond between the two, with other Black and Brown, trans and queer artists has been moving and invaluable."

Amir Khadar

Amir Khadar is a non-binary, West African, multidisciplinary artist and organizer. Through their spoken word and visual art practice, Amir is able to attack issues stemming from white supremacy while celebrating intersectionality and Black beauty. Through art, they are able to practice authentic self-expression and create the images of the African diaspora that are shunned by the media. Amir is currently a first-year student at the Maryland Institute College of Art studying for their B.F.A in Animation and Humanistic studies.

“Being part of this project has been an affirmation to my identities as a non-binary Black artist. As TGNC people of color, we have always had to be resilient, so our art has become a place of healing. To gather with others who share my identities, and find sanctuary in art, while creating for our community has been an extremely powerful and impactful experience.” 

Colin Laurel

Colin Laurel is a Black trans visual artist whose work spans illustration, personal narrative, fine art and clothing. Using racial awareness, gender identity, observation, music, film and mythology as his creative foundation, Colin dedicates himself to nuanced storytelling. He has begun to merge art and activism more frequently in his practice, hoping to inspire young artists of color to fully embrace and express their true nature. He has illustrated for Adobe Inc., Bitch magazine, Oregon Humanities, and Icebreaker Nature Apparel, and his art has been featured in gallery shows throughout the U.S.

“This project has allowed me to channel my personal values and expand them into ideation beyond that of myself alone. TDOR reassures its partakers that their efforts do not exist in a vacuum—that the future has the potential to shine as brightly as our depictions allow. I have seldom been so honored to lend my artistic voice than I have with this collective.”

kiki nicole

kiki nicole is an agender yung negro artist who is still here. They work to create multidisciplinary blk art that un/bodies, un/genders, and re/news. They create for colored queers who have considered suicide when they are named Too Much. They are a 2016 Pink Door fellow and 2017 member of Destiny Arts' QEAR cohort. Their work has been published in The Shade Journal, Wus Good Magazine, and has been installed in galleries in Portland, Oregon.

“As a Black TGNC artist, this project means the world to me. It allows me to work in a very FUBU mindset alongside other Black TGNC artists, and TGNC artists of color in a digital sphere where we are thriving, where we are celebrated, where we are critical and constantly growing. This project allows us to create the futurity not promised—to manifest. And ain't that magic?”

xoài phạm

xoài phạm is a Vietnamese trans woman who believes in tenderness and care. She is in a slow process of learning what's possible. She writes poetry and essays about intimacy, desire, violence and family. She wants to live in a world that nurtures all oppressed peoples, and is especially passionate about the survival of trans people of color, Indigenous sovereignty, and sex workers' protections. She resides in Lenape territory, what many call Brooklyn.

"This project is a chance for trans people of color to celebrate one another. It's an opportunity for us to remind ourselves of where we come from and be in conversation about where we want to go. I just want trans artists to be able to expand our imaginations beyond colonial boundaries and re-envision our bodies, our communities, and our futures."

Nikole (Niko) Shahbazian

Nikole (Niko) Shahbazian is a queer and gender-fluid/trans person of Middle Eastern descent. Specifically, they are of Armenian, Chaldean-Assyrian, and Persian ancestry. Niko writes with the intention of challenging a monolithic Middle Eastern representation and seeks to give voice to the experiences of their indigenous ancestors. Much of their writing is about navigating various cultural boundaries and existing in-between the tension of identities. They are part of organizations both within and outside the U.S. that focus on preserving and supporting the narratives of other queer and trans SWANA (South West Asian and North African) folx. While committed to anti-racist and anti-oppression work in the U.S., Niko also dedicates much energy to the queer/trans narratives that exist in their communities abroad, with the objective of expanding past U.S.-centric politics. Ultimately, they hope to achieve a point of being able to communicate with their ancestors in all four of their cultural languages.

“For me, this project is both a homecoming and a wake-up call. I have always been taught that my sexual/gender identities and my cultural/ethnic identities are two separate and non-compatible entities, although I know now that this is incorrect. Working on this project has been a way for me to unite multiple disparate identities and share my work and experiences in a larger, collaborative world of folx who have also been navigating the divide between identities that are oftentimes positioned against each other. This project has been fundamental in realizing the individuality in all of our experiences, and in expanding past the concept that there is only one trans/gnc poc experience. We continue to thrive and persist past pain.”

Art Twink

Art Twink is 5'2", genderqueer, mixed Bangladeshi/white and was once named an "inspiring queer fashionista" by a blog they'd never heard of. They make comics about depression and lingering feels. They use their art to create connections between QTPOC and to foster self - and community - love in the face of capitalism, white supremacy and patriarchy.

“Black and Indigenous and People of Color have so few chances to share and celebrate our authentic selves. To create something true to our experiences outside of the cis/white gaze is liberating. I hope the project will honor our ancestors before us, represent our current experiences, and uplift & inspire trans folxs just discovering their identities. These aren't stale, white-bread trans narratives—these are the unique, diverse stories of some of the most beautiful people on earth.”

Sophia Zarders

Sophia Zarders is an illustrator, comic artist and social justice advocate from Long Beach, California. They have been published in The Nation and Resist! Magazine, as well as smaller independent publications and zines. Their posters and flyers have been commissioned by the Long Beach Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and other local organizations. She received a BFA in Illustration from Cal State University, Long Beach in 2016 and currently works as an art instructor for adults with disabilities. They write and illustrate a graphic novel called Jesus Freak and often draw/paint social activists. She also performs excerpts from their zines at DIY shows & tables at local zine fests. Sophia’s main partner in crime is their dog, Bobo.

“This project is eye opening and thought-provoking in how we view ourselves and each other in the TGNC community. We are challenged to think beyond the singular narrative the world has placed on us and instead show the world what are our dreams, potentials and futures. Trans Day of Resilience dares to challenge our internal and external views of trans identities, and I am so appreciative and overwhelmed to be a small participant in its grand vision."