Press Room

ChaKiara Tucker, Forward Together, 404.771.0290

Artists and Activists Resist Erasure of Trans Communities Through Art

November 20, 2018 - Forward Together collaborated with trans and non-binary artists of color and trans justice organizations across the country, to create original artwork for Trans Day of Resilience (TDOR). The TDOR art project is an extension and reimagining of Transgender Day of Remembrance, the annual event memorializing people, primarily Black trans women and femmes killed by anti-trans violence. Trans Day of Resilience honors and supports trans people of color while they are alive, and not just in memoriam.

"Despite attacks and threats of erasure by the Trump administration, we are still here and we are thriving,” said Prerna Sampat, a spokesperson with Forward Together. “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. Art is fundamental to all social movements because it reconnects us to our deepest values, to what we hold sacred, and to each other. Too often, we find ourselves in political and social movements deprived of imagination and artistic spaces lacking political engagement. Through TDOR, we hope that communities understand how critical it is to honor and support trans people in life, and not just in death.”

Although trans and non-binary people of color face disproportionate rates of violence and poverty, they are also thriving and leading movements for social justice. The shareable art created for TDOR tells those stories of trans power, vision and leadership.

Trans Day of Resilience also encourages people to not only share this powerful art, but to take action and support with local and national trans justice groups.

Participating organizations and artists

(contact ChaKiara Tucker, 404.771.0290 or

Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement (Familia TQLM)
Los Angeles, California
Artist: Art Twink

Solutions Not Punishment Coalition (SNaP Co)
Atlanta, Georgia
Artist: Ashleigh Shackelford

New Orleans, Louisiana
Artist: Asia-Vinae J. Palmer

Transgender Gender-Variant & Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP)
San Francisco, CA
Artist: Amir Khadar

Ashleigh Shackelford, artist and organizer with SNaP Co, released the following statement;

“We are Black, fat, trans, non-binary, and queer. We’re here, and we will not be invalidated, erased, or ignored. Trans Day of Resilience is about changing the narrative around Black trans folks and our experiences. This project is necessary and game-changing because Black death is constant, and Black trans death is the crux of that. Our safety cannot exist in a system designed to kill us.

Black death mobilizes most of our movements. However, when we talk about the nuances of our identities, our trauma, and how our existence is so much more than our death and tragedies - that’s when we begin the work to build a world without cages, a world with healthy boundaries. We must center and affirm Black trans people in all of our movements and within our visioning of liberation. We must transform our work and ourselves to create a Black trans future.”

Kwan Moonlite, the Healing Justice Organizer with BreakOUT! released the following statement:

“We are in the south, the deep dirty south, in Louisiana, in Nola. It is one of the mosts racists places to live. The mere existence of us is resilience.Queer and Transgender People of color are faced with so much hate and violence that we rarely have time to practice self-care and healing. Trans Day of Resilience is a way for us to acknowledge ourselves and our communities, and to heal through art, which unifies us all.”

Asia-Vinae J. Palmer, artist with BreakOUT, released the following statement:

"To be a Queer and Transgender Person of Color in this country is to move forward in love when surrounded by reasons to hate. Our resiliency is powerful because it impacts all aspects of time. It unlocks love for our ancestors, our peers, and future generations. Trans Day of Resilience is necessary in a world that constantly tries to erase us. TDOR demands us to actively remember the people we have lost and to honor the people present and soon coming.  LGBTQ members need to know that they are not alone and other communities need to know that we are only growing stronger. I hope that my painting encourages joy, compassion, and vulnerability. I want people to consider what reciprocity looks like in friendships and how those connections help fuel our resilience."

Jennicet Gutiérrez, organizer with Familia Trans Queer Liberation Movement, released the following statement:

“We are breathing and we are existing. All the while, we are facing threats of the erasure of our communities. During these tough times we must challenge ourselves to unite through shared struggles. Familia Trans Queer Liberation Movement  believes that art can be radical and transformative. Through Trans Day of Resilience we hope to use art to allow the space for healthy conversation about trans people of color”


Kamau Walton, with the TGI Justice Project (TGIJP), released the following statement:

“Trans, gender nonconforming and non-binary people have always been part of our communities and always will be. Even though we carry significant power in our presence and the work we do to bring justice to our communities, we are still overlooked, undervalued an invisible to many. Trans people of color are attacked at alarming rates, and mainstream media still overlooks us. That is why Trans Day of Resilience is absolutely critical. We must celebrate ourselves!”

Forward Together builds relationships across lines of race, gender, and sexuality to connect marginalized people and catalyze social change. Our work influences culture and policy to ensure that every person, family and community has the power and resources they need to reach their full potential. For more info


Select past coverage:

Trans Day of Resilience Shifts the Narrative of Trans LivesRewire

Trans Artists, Activists Visualize Liberation for Transgender Day of RemembranceColorlines

Trans Artists Made These Stunning Posters For Trans Day Of RemembranceBuzzfeed

8 Illustrations Show the Resilience of Trans Women of Color,

8 Beautiful Posters to Mark Trans Day of ResilienceMashable

This Powerful Artwork Will Show You What It Means to Be Transgender and Resilient,

Trans Day of Remembrance is Resilience Above AllThe Establishment