Trans Art: Music, Television & More!

| Jun 27, 2016

It’s summer!! Summertime summertime, sum sum summertime, summertiiiiiiiiiime. The heat wave is on and the entertainment is even hotter, or is it cooler? Hmm. Don’t go crazy from the heat! If it’s hot outside, stay in and check out this months TG entertainment happenings. It’s Pride month too, so be sure to celebrate with your fellow LGBT folks. 

Au Jus

Au Jus

Sexy little thaang Au Jus, is a San Francisco based drag queen who has come up quickly through the ranks of the drag scene. She recently performed at Pollo Del Mar’s Glamazone at The Cafe in San Francisco. Pollo announced that the next performer would be singing live. Considering San Francisco is home to Honey Mahogany, one of the best drag singers in the game, that would be a tall order. She sang Sam Smith’s Stay With Me and amazed the audience. People were asking her after her performance if that was really her singing. Au Jus is a huge personality in a tiny package. She’s all of 5? 7? with her 5 inch heels on. Standing next to her you see curves that keep you hooked and a face that you can’t stop looking at. She’s been doing drag for only two years but she’s already made her mark on the San Francisco drag scene. She won the second Talent Showcase at The Glamazone and she’s had her calendar filled weekly ever since.

cox_as-sofiaNetflix’s Orange is the New Black is back! Now in it’s 4th amazing season, critics are calling it the best and angriest to date. More characters and more stories are being added to the already sprawling narrative. But yet, the way the stories all intertwine and promise for a spectacular convergence in the finale and a stunning statement against America’s prison problem, it cements the show as one of the best on television today. Of course, our own Laverne Cox stars on the show as Sofia. This reporter has not gotten around to finishing the last season, but I know that Sophia’s gripping story is continued. I gotta get watching! I’m falling behind.

Maybe what we’ve needed is a musical response to get through to the transphobes. The Tony-winning Broadway stars at Kinky Boots have put together an elaborate response to the bathroom panic that’s criss-crossing the nation — especially North Carolina. It includes a message from the show’s creators Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper. “You can change the world when you change your mind,” was the message posted by Kinky Boots to Facebook with the video, using hashtag #JustPee. A mere 10 hours after the video went live, it had already racked up 1.6 million views on Facebook. Watch their light-hearted rendition of Just Pee on YouTube.

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chris_mosierESPN Magazine’s Body Issue will make history this year by featuring its first transgender athlete. Billed as a “celebration” of “amazing bodies,” the hotly-anticipated issue puts the spotlight on a selection of athletes of all shapes and sizes who strip down for tastefully-shot nude photo spreads each year. In a June 21 press release, ESPN officials representatives announced the inclusion of Team USA’s Chris Mosier in the eighth edition of the Body Issue, which hits newsstands next month. Mosier, who competed in the run-bike-run race at the 2015 International Triathlon Union world duathlon championship, will be featured along with Olympic diver Greg Louganis, three-time WNBA All-Star and 2015 MVP Elena Delle DonneAntonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers and U.S. women’s national soccer team forward Christen Press, among others. The 35-year-old Mosier, who has said he began questioning his gender identity at age 4, told The Huffington Post that he was “really grateful for the opportunity” to be included in the magazine, and called the photoshoot “a great opportunity to push my own boundaries.” 

REVRY, the world’s first streaming network dedicated to all forms of digital entertainment created by and for the LGBTQ and allied audiences, announces the availability of its diverse media service. The company kicks off Pride Season 2016 and celebrates its roots in the community with the launch of its on-demand subscription service that, for only $4.99/month or $54.99/year, enables audiences to binge on a variety of digital entertainment that, unlike other subscription services, also includes music and podcasts. From feature-length movies to short form stories from the web, REVRY provides a broad range of genres including comedies, dramas, musicals, lifestyle, music videos, podcasts, and viral videos. The company also plans to release its first original series, H.O.T.: House of Trans, later this summer, which goes behind the scenes of the everyday lives of several transgender women living in Los Angeles in pursuit of their shared goals of societal acceptance and successful careers in entertainment.

bookALTERSIn a new comic, a transgender superhero hides 2 identities. Chalice is a new superhero who can manipulate gravity so that she can fly. Chalice is also Charlie Young, a male college student, who, unbeknown to his family, is beginning to transition to female. Unlike most superheroes, who have to maintain one secret identity, Chalice has two. And so begins Alters, a series from AfterShock Comics, coming in September, that will introduce Chalice in a central role. The series was created by the writer Paul Jenkins, a comics veteran whose credits include Origin, which detailed the early days of Wolverine. For Mr. Jenkins it is a passion project, one he has pursued since 2005. He gives a lot of credit to his mother, a gay single mom who raised him and his brother in Dorset, England.

Morgana Love in Made in Bangkok.

Morgana Love in Made in Bangkok.

Filmmaker Flavio Florencio was born and raised in Argentina, however, he has spent the past 15 years working and creating in Mexico City, Mexico. Mr. Florencio’s first feature film, Made in Bangkok, follows a Mexican transgendered woman, Morgana Love, as she transitions into her new life and body. Besides making his own films, Mr. Florencio is also the founder of the Pueblo Magico Mexican Film Residency. The residency program provides an opportunity for filmmakers from all over the world to converge in the magical town of Tepoztlan to workshop and develop their scripts and production for upcoming films. Flavio was recently nominated for an ARIEL Award (the equivalent of an Oscar in Mexico) for Best Documentary Film. His new project is called Trans, a documentary series following Mexican transgender and gender-variant people in Mexico.

Fronchowiak at work.

Fronchowiak at work.

In downtown Shell Beach, where murals of surfers and ocean scenes line many of the buildings, a different kind of subject is being painted onto the side of one business. Ben Fronckowiak, an aspiring filmmaker and artist, is halfway through a 12-foot mural on the side of Smith Towne Gallery that features an “Alice in Wonderland”-style queen — a slightly surreal, larger-than-life woman wearing a crown — as a way to raise awareness for transgender and transsexual issues. “I know that it is something small, and I’m just starting out, but I wanted it to be something to empower people … basically just to be themselves, be individuals (and) don’t feel like they ever need to be stuck,” he said. Fronckowiak said he became involved in trans rights while attending the UCLA School of Film and Television. While in school, he began filming backstage at The Palms Bar, a well-known LGBT hangout in West Hollywood, before it shut its doors in 2013. “It was interesting because I realized it was hard enough for a heterosexual person to find a lasting relationship, so how hard must it be for a trans person?” he said. “Being there was a huge impact on my painting and my art.”

Whew! Lots o’ stuff to keep us busy. Hope you enjoyed out little corner here for all things TG in the media. Happy Pride Month! Enjoy the summer weather and remember to stay safe out there and keep your eyes open for nitwits as you enjoy yourself. See ya next time.

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Category: Community News, Fun & Entertainment, Media, Music

Amanda F. Steele

About Amanda F. Steele: I am a transwoman originally from Pittsburgh, PA. I have been living full time for 4 years. I work in retail but am an artist/Graphic Designer and aspiring writer. I tend to address the controversial in my writing. I would love to change the world one article at a time. I moved here to The San Francisco Bay Area to start over, again. The adventure continues...

Comments (2)

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  1. lesleyanne says:

    Amanda, just want to say I’m enjoying your columns!

    🙂