We Happy Trans, This is How, Chicago House and GLAAD Announce First Ever 'Trans 100' List
Chicago, Tuesday, April 9, 2013 – We Happy Trans, a website that celebrates the positive experiences of transgender people, and This is H.O.W., a Phoenix based non profit organization dedicated to the betterment of the lives of trans people, today announced the full published Trans 100 list, an inaugural overview of the breadth and diversity of work being done in, by, and for the transgender community across the United States. The 2013 Trans 100 list premiered on BuzzFeed and was presented at an event sponsored by Chicago House, GLAAD, the Pierce Family Foundation, Orbitz.com, and KOKUMOMEDIA.
The list began as an idea by This Is H.O.W. Executive Director Antonia D’orsay, then developed in partnership with Jen Richards of We Happy Trans. The project received over 500 nominations in December 2012, with over 360 individuals recommended for inclusion.
The first effort of its kind, the list intends to shift the coverage of trans issues by focusing on the positive work being accomplished, and providing visibility to those typically underrepresented. A launch event for the Trans 100 list took place at Mayne Stage in Chicago on International Transgender Day of Visibility, a day which aims to bring attention to the accomplishments of transgender people around the world.
The event featured guest speakers Janet Mock, a trans activist and writer, Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler, a GLAAD Award-nominated blogger and filmmaker, musicians Namoli Brennet and Joe Stevens, performer and activist KOKUMO, producer Jen Richards, and 10 co-presenters representing the Chicago trans community.
"The only sustainable self-interest is that which extends the sense of self to include the whole,” said Jen Richards at the Trans 100 launch event. “Look around: women, men, people of color, genderqueer people, crossdressers, showgirls, sex workers, academics, activists, artists, and allies. We are all one community."
"I am here tonight because of the 99 other names on the inaugural Trans 100 list and the unrecognized thousands who are not on this list whose quiet acts are changing lives,” said Janet Mock. “They are the dream realized."
"It is my hope that everyone in this room will use the names on this list as inspiration to continue doing the necessary work,” said Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler at the event. “Let them propel you to be the advocates and activists our community needs. If you do not identify as either, then I urge you to use the names on the list as a simple gesture to keep living.”
“The value of the work that is represented by the 100 people on this list is immeasurable,” said Executive Director of This Is H.O.W., Antonia D’orsay, about the Trans 100. “These people demonstrate the diversity, the determination, and the incredible triumph of spirit that informs all trans people, no matter where they are. This is just a glimpse of what trans people can accomplish.”
"The Trans 100 will bring much-needed visibility to the critical, grassroots work that trans people have been doing in communities across the country for years," said GLAAD's Wilson Cruz. "While media coverage so often misses the mark on accurate portrayals of trans people, the Trans 100 is changing the game by sharing the inspiring and diverse stories behind trans advocacy."
KOKUMO, an artist, activist, and African American transgender woman, hosted the event. Two accomplished transgender musicians – folk-rock songwriter Namoli Brennet, and singer Joe Stevens of the West Coast-based Folk/Roots group Coyote Grace – gave live performances.
Jen Richards partnered with Chicago House and KOKUMOMEDIA to produce Chicago’s Trans 100 launch event. GLAAD served as Inaugural Sponsor, with additional support from the Pierce Family Foundation, Orbitz.com, Progress Printing, and Dr. Graphx. Both Chicago House’s TransLife Project and This is H.O.W. provide direct services to transgender people experiencing homelessness, unemployment, violence, health disparities, and HIV infection. KOKUMOMEDIA uses film, music, and literature to provide to create and generate realistic depictions of transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex (TGI) people of color.
The Trans 100:
Channyn Lynne Parker
ellie june navidson
Harper Jean Tobin
Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler
Mia Tu Mutch
Miss Major Griffin-Gacy
S. Bear Bergman
Sasha Alexander Goldberg
Trisha Lee Holloway
Yoseñio V. Lewis
About We Happy Trans: WeHappyTrans.com was launched in early in 2012 in response to the lack of positive depictions of trans people in the media, and the absence of an online space that focused on the positive aspects of the trans experience. For more information, please visit www.wehappytrans.com or connect with We Happy Trans on Facebook and Twitter.
About This is H.O.W.: This Is H.O.W. Inc. is a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the betterment of the lives of Trans (transsexual, transgender, and gender variant) persons experiencing crisis situations such as homelessness, substance abuse, familial abuse, and transition related difficulties. For more information, please visit www.thisishow.org or connect with This is H.O.W. on Facebook and Twitter.