Frank Rizzo of the Hartford Courant asks,
Is there a transgender show trend emerging?
He’s referring to back to back one-person performances about transgender issues happening in Hartford, CT next month.
Peterson Toscano will present his newest solo theater piece, Transfigurations: Transgressing Gender in the Bible on Sept. 11 at Hartford’s Charter Oak Cultural Center. It’s about “gender-variant Bible characters,” he says. He has toured with the show in the UK, Sweden and North America.
The performance artist/activist is best known for his solo show, Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House.
Scott and I both performed at the “Sweet T” Unity Conference held at UNC Chapel Hill this past spring. He is an incredible writer and performer–intelligent and skilled. While he is in town, he will take part in a variety of workshops about transgender issues. The Trans-Community Forum will happen at Real Art Ways on Wednesday, September 16 at 7pm and will have a diversity of people on a panel for a community discussion.
Hartford has a vibrant Transgender community with a strong and active organization called CT TransAdvocacy. JeriMarie Liesegang and I both took part in what turned out to be a PRNDI Award winning radio episode of WNPR’s Where We Live with the topic of Gender Identity. (Check it out here)
Hartford is also the new base for the True Colors organization, an advocacy group for LGBTIQ youth which organizes the nation’s largest conference for youth and service providers (teachers, social workers, ministers, etc). They recently moved into the offices of Love Makes a Family, a marriage equality organization which joyfully worked it way out of theneed for office space now that Connecticut offers marriage equality.
As an artist and a queer activist, I have found Hartford to be a place that encourages, affirms and challenges me in my craft and my public witness. With many Hartford-based progressive bloggers at Queers Without Borders raising issues of economic injustice, immigration and torture, I have seen a model of LGBTQ activism that reaches beyond our own interests to include a broad umbrella of individuals and groups deserving justice. Hartford models a transection of race and sexuality issues as demonstrated by the successful campaign to ban an offensive black face drag queen performance from taking place at a local gay bar.
Some Hartford-area sheroes, heros and legends of mine include
- Kamora Herrington of True Colors
- Regina Dyton, who has served with the Hartford Commission of LGBT Issues and is the founder of FACE (Featuring Every Color and Ethnicity)
- Bishop John Selders, pastor of Amistad UCC Church
- Robin McHaelen, founder of True Colors
- Diana, a blogger and transgender activist
- Shawn Lang, a rabid Red Socks fan, a fellow Quaker and the director of public policy for CT AIDS Resource Coalition
- Fleurette King director of the UCONN Rainbow Center