Trans/Queer/Femme Weekend is both a commemoration and a celebration. Held at multiple venues Nov. 20 and 21, the weekend ties together three shows featuring women, transgender people, queer folks, and their allies. The events surround Transgender Day of Remembrance, held internationally in November since 1998 to honor and bring attention to the transgender lives lost to violence and suicide.
On Friday night, feminist punk band War on Women plays a show at Metro Gallery with Glittoris, Humanmania, and DJ Jerrod Bronson, plus a guest speaker appearance by Bryanna Jenkins of the Baltimore Transgender Alliance. In addition, tables set up by social-justice organizations including Hollaback! Baltimore (founded by War On Women vocalist Shawna Potter), Black Trans Alliance, Monument Quilt, Sistas of the "t," and FreeState Legal Project (which advocates for Maryland's low-income LGBTQ individuals) will be on hand.
Meanwhile, The Crown celebrates woman-identifying performers with "GRL PWR," featuring Brooklyn DJ Tygapaw and Baltimore DJs Book of Morrin, Trillnatured (our 2015 Best New DJ), and Amsies. Also performing are Baltimore MC Killjoy, Boston noise-pop musician W00DY, and two Illinois experimental electronic artists, Blackwood and Choral Reefr, as well as local performance artists Marcelline Mandeng and Emilia Pennanen.
Trans/Queer/Femme Weekend concludes Saturday night with an all-female rap show at Metro Gallery presented and headlined by TT The Artist (who recently released the bubbly, neon-bursting video for her single 'Gimme Yo Love'), premiering the video for 'Fly Girl,' the super-retro track produced by Devin Byrnes and Mighty Mark off her "Art Royalty" EP. Trillnatured makes another appearance on the lineup along with rappers Si-Notes and Brittany Starr.
Before the weekend kicks off,The Transgender Day of Remembrance begins in Baltimore on Friday with the first National Trans March of Resilience, in which trans people of color will lead marchers from the Ynot Lot to City Hall. Following the rally, the names of transgender lives lost to violence will be read and remembered at a candlelight vigil at First Unitarian Church in Mount Vernon.
According to a new report from the Human Rights Campaign, the transgender homicide rate hit a record high this year, and none of the cases were prosecuted as hate crimes. So far in 2015, at least 21 transgender and gender nonconforming people—the majority of which have been trans women of color—have been murdered in the United States, compared to 13 in 2014. One of the most recent victims was 21-year-old Zella Ziona, killed last month in Montgomery County. A staggering 41 percent of transgender and nonconforming individuals attempt suicide at some point in their life. These numbers horrify members of the transgender community and the people who love them—which is why it's important for the community to not only uplift itself from these tragedies, but to celebrate the lives it has lost with club beats, punk riffs, and lots of dancing. Even in this sobering year, increased visibility and public awareness, small steps toward progress in legal processes and health coverage, and identity itself is always worth celebrating.
The Transgender March of Resilience leaves the Ynot Lot at 4 p.m. on Nov. 20, ending with a rally at City Hall at 5 p.m. and the Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil at First Unitarian Church at 6 p.m. War On Women plays Metro Gallery with Glittoris, Humanmania, and DJ Jerrod Bronson at 9 p.m. on Nov. 20. The Crown hosts GRL PWR at 9 p.m. on Nov. 21. Metro Gallery hosts TT The Artist's "Fly Girls" show at 9 p.m. on Nov. 20.