Honoring Our Transcestors

  • 4 min read

In honor of Trans Day of Visibility, our 2022 campaign showcases the beauty of the trans community today through a reimagined portrait series of contemporary and historical Trans Icons.  

TDOV group photo

This year’s theme is dedicated to the artists, activists, thought leaders and icons who have paved the way for those who came after and whose lives continue to inspire our community today. 

Our five campaign models each chose a personally inspiring "transcestor" to honor, and Fluide's artist-in-residence,  Catherine McMahon, created a collage artwork for each icon, as a backdrop for the models. 

The campaign photoshoot is partnership of Fluide's Chief Creative Officer, Dev Doee, an  Ulta MUSE 100 honoree for their activism, leadership and inclusive vision, and photographer  Landyn Pan, with video directed, shot, and edited by artist  Trinity Rose

In the words of Fluide's CCO, Dev Doee, “Each transgender icon was selected by our models as their own personal inspiration in their journey. Growing up as a transgender child can be incredibly difficult because we rarely have anyone to look up to or learn from. Often times the only coverage with see in the media of trans people is centered around transphobic legislation or the murder of trans people. It’s so important that trans youth has something or someone to look forward to. There  has to be a light at the end of the tunnel and for me that was rooted in our history.

grayson photo
The Transgender Icons honored in our campaign include:
  • Marsha P Johnson - activist, self-identified drag queen, performer, and survivor.
  • Leiomy Maldonado - Afro-Puerto Rican dancer, instructor, model, activist, and ballroom dancer. Most known for her work on HBO’s Legendary and FX’S Pose
  • Ajita Wilson - African-American trans women who in the 1970s and 80s starred in foreign films, and most notably, was JET magazine's Jet Beauty of the Week
  • Lou Sullivan - American author and activist known for his work on behalf of trans men
  • Hunter Schafer - American fashion model, actress, and LGBTQ rights activist. Most known for playing the role of Jules on HBO’s Euphoria

Each of the models shared their thoughts and feelings about their icon in Trinity Rose's moving video quoted below:

Jewel Clarity Joywell:

“In and out of my walking day, there’s a lot of erasure that goes on. To step into a space to intentionally be seen in the way I want and need to be seen I think is very powerful”

Sophia Hernandez:

“Visibility and representation doesn’t really solve much of anything. It does give other people a chance to see someone like them, but there is still so much work to be done.”

Xochitl:

“The visibility of trans people is so important. Especially the visibility of trans femme black people. A day like this seeing these people really inspires me to be myself every day.”

Hunter Schafer icon

In the words of Fluide's CCO, Dev Doee, "Our trans ancestors  leave a mark on us and show us how to support our community. I would be nothing without the work of people like Marsha P Johnson, Tracy Norman, and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy to name a few.”

The first Transgender Day of Visibility was held on March 31, 2009 and is held annually on the 31st of March. TDOV is dedicated to celebrating transgender lives and creating awareness of the discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. 

Founded by transgender activist  Rachel Crandall as a reaction to the lack of recognition of transgender people, the day is a celebration of the contributions to society by transgender people. Unlike the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which mourns the murders of transgender people, TDOV acknowledges and celebrates living members of the transgender community.

​​As Fluide's co-founder, Laura Kraber, states, ”TDOV is an important day that allows all of us to come together to honor and empower trans and nonbinary people. With the current rise of anti-transgender legislation, it is crucial that parents like me speak out and advocate against cruel and discriminatory policies that target trans youth. Today we celebrate our community and the trans icons who inspire us, sharing with others the beauty, joy and history of trans people.” 

model photo

The artistry and talent of the individuals who came together to bring our TDOV celebration to life include artist Catherine McMahon, the creator of the collage artworks for each model's transcestor.

In Catherine's words, "the process of sifting through archival imagery, documents like vintage film posters, books, and cultural ephemera, was truly moving and curious. As I hand-cut each paper collage element, I thought often about each person's impact and legacy. It was strange noticing the differences in quantity and access to archival imagery available for each trans icon and further cemented the importance of documenting and representing the trans community today for future generations."

GIVE 20, GET 20: 

Through April 10th, We Are Fluide is donating 20% of all sales to BFTA, using coupon code TDOV — Black Trans Femmes in the Arts:https://www.btfacollective.org/. Shoppers get 20% off and We Are Fluide gives 20% to BTFA.

Jewel as Ajita photo

 Campaign Cast & Crew

 


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