This project was inspired by my passionate LGBTQ+ history professor, Ardel Thomas.
It wasn’t always painful. Our community has risen and won many wars against our right to be true to ourselves—the right almost every human being should have. A right to dress, a right to speak and a right to live freely. However, to us, it’s a luxury—a goal we must achieve through hard work and determination. Yet social media reminds us how many in the LGBTQ+ community have been murdered, raped, homeless and stripped of their identities. The most recent news has shown us that the higher court wants to pass a law dismissing trans soldiers from serving in the military.
Being a part of LGBTQ+ community has nothing to do with the negativity. That belongs to the cruel intentions of our outside environment. We don’t always live in fear and anxiety (the state “They” want us to be in). As a transgender woman, I live this life full of color with beautiful creations. I gracefully receive love and support from others.
Transvisual represents one day in my world, in our world. The life we lead is met with great obstacles, however, it was chosen. Hence, we move forward graciously. This is a message I want to send to people of all genders and races: live the life you have chosen, and embrace it with all your means.
Locations: The first scene was shot at Aunt Charlie’s Lounge on 133 Turk Street, the first gay bar in the Tenderloin District, San Francisco. This place was one of the very first bars that accepted transvestites, cross-dressing and cross-genders. Aunt Charlie’s Lounge provides the most chill attitude with a fabulous drag show every weekend.
The second scene was at the Café Compton, Tenderloin District, where the very first fight of the “screaming queens” and the police started. That riot in August of 1966 set an example for the LGBT community to fight for freedom, human rights and a right to dress.
The last scene was at Maiden Lane’s Basement, also known as Morton Street and the worst brothel in SF. The place was destroyed in 1906.
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