Trans Media Arts — Ahoy

| Jul 25, 2016
Captain Amanda welcomes you aboard.

Captain Amanda welcomes you aboard.

Don’t read the news! Read all about transgender arts and entertainment right here. With all of the craziness and sadness going on in the country right now, we need something to take our minds to a good and positive place. We have got just the elixir for the news blues. So sit right back and you’ll hear a tale. Let’s set sail for calmer waters on the SS Amanda, shall we?

Laughter is said to be good medicine. What better medicine than transgender comedian Julia Scotti? Right now, she is ripping it up on America’s Got Talent with her offbeat, sometimes crass brand of humor. While Julia is trans, she jokes about her age more than her transition. The fact is more people can identify with aging than being trans. She had the judges laughing on AGT including hard-to-please Simon Cowell, best known from American Idol. Julia may actually make me want to tune into that show or at least follow her bits online. While she has yet to do any comedy about her transition on her biggest stage yet, you know when its time to do just that, she will make us all proud with her unique brand of humor. Julia has a number of routines on YouTube abut here is her latest bit from America’s Got Talent.

[youtube]CtZelpXisT4[/youtube]

Trevor as Annie Thang

Trevor as Annie Thang

By day, Trevor Ladner is your typical Mississippi high-schooler. But by night, he’s high-fashion drag queen Miss Annie Thang. He is also on his way to Harvard and is an LGBT activist. In this compelling video piece by The Sun Herald, Trevor talks about what it has been like to be a drag performer in the no-nonsense state of Mississippi and how becoming Miss Annie Thang has actually brought more confidence into his life and made Harvard sit up and take notice. See the video on the Sun Herald website.

Our favorite punk rock trans Sister Laura Jane Grace and her band Against Me! is back this September as promised, with a new album and tour for 2016 and beyond. The new album is titled Shape Shift With Me. The first single from the follow up to 2014’s Transgender Dysphoria Blues is 333. It already sounds like Laura Jane and her band mates are in fine form. This album will be the first effort with all four band members playing together as they have been since the drummer and bassist departed the band before Transgender Dysphoria Blues was released. Their live shows are not to be missed either. The first leg of the tour starts in September with Against Me! paired with Bad Religion. I hope to see them soon in the Bay Area here since I missed them last year.  You can listen to 333 right now.

[youtube]e6MZXzbuiPY[/youtube]

A short film by Meg Vogel for the Cincinnati Enquirer tells the story of a transgender teen named Zay. It all started at a funeral in Ohio for transgender teen Leelah Alcorn, whose death made headlines after her suicide note was discovered on Tumblr. A reporter covering the story made a connection with a transgender girl in the crowd named Zay, and began to tell her story—one of hope, love, and support.

Zay

Zay

“I felt like I was trapped in a cage a million miles away and there was no way to get out,” says Zay in the heartwarming film. Over time, her parents realized their child’s interest in wearing dresses wasn’t a phase and began to research transgender issues, eventually coming across a TED talk on pubertal suppression. When Zay’s parents told her she could push pause on male puberty, it was a game changer. “I felt like somebody came with a key and opened the cage and said you’re free to go,” she says. Today, according to Zay’s mom, “She’s found her place, and she’s a thriving, beautiful young lady now.” The short film won second place in the short form category of the World Press Photo Foundation’s 2016 press photography contest. Watch the film right now.

[vimeo]141364899[/vimeo]

Zelda Williams is proud of her latest TV role, and knows that her late father, Robin Williams would be too. The 26-year-old actress stars in Freeform’s Dead of Summer, a drama series set in the late ’80s about a group of camp counselors at a camp that is haunted by supernatural forces. Zelda was nervous to take on her first leading role but also worried about playing a trans man and how the transgender community would react.

Zelda Williams

Zelda Williams

“The thing I’m most terrified about is the transgender community Today C insulted by [Drew],” Zelda admits, following the show’s June 28 premiere. “It’s great that [the public] will get to learn about a male-identifying transgender character as a lead in an ensemble show, but really, more than anything, he is for the transgender community, because they don’t ever get to see him. I hope that they’re happy with him, because I’m proud of him. I’m really excited for people to see who he is.” You can read more in Entertainment Weekly.

Jazz Jennings has just released a book for young readers called Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen. The book is upbeat but still deals with very real struggles that Jazz and her family had to contend with. Jazz’s cheery optimism never relents, and she praises her family for being so accepting and giving her unconditional support and love.  Jazz was dealing with bathroom issues long before it became a hot-button issue. In preschool, she was allowed to wear the girls’ uniform, but not allowed to use the girls’ restroom. In defiance, she started calling herself “Jazz,” and she often wet herself at school instead of using the boys’ bathroom. As she grew up, she became the role model for other kids battling Gender Dysphoria.

A scene from Her Story.

A scene from Her Story.

Her Story, is a Web series about the lives of two trans women (played by Jen Richards and Angelica Ross, who both are trans) and a woman who identifies as queer (played by Laura Zak, who is also queer) as they navigate the intersections of desire and identity. The show was recently nominated for an Emmy in the outstanding short form comedy or drama series category. It was released on YouTube earlier this year in an effort to vary the representations of trans people in the media. Co-written by Richards and Zak, it was produced by Katherine Fisher and a team of primarily trans and queer women.  You can read an interview with two of the actresses/writers in The Los Angeles Times.

There, see…now isn’t that better than all of that noise going on in the “other” news? Ahhh, I know feel better. I hope everyone is having a great summer and staying cool. The weather has been even hotter than the news in the Trans Media Arts column. Okay, maybe not quite that hot. Keep on Rockin’ everyone and enjoy all of those big summer flicks.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Community News, Media

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 are closed.