Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014: The Precurser To The 2015 Coming Out Party

By Sabrina Samone, TMP


Each year seems to be getting better and better for the Trans Community. In 2013 we called it the year of the T.  As we rolled through 2014 it seemed we were everywhere but it seems this year that we will look back upon 2014 as just the warm up to the biggest coming out party the world has ever seen, for Trans society, 2015 maybe the start of main stream acknowledgement like never before after an historical year for our community.

We are everywhere, in every town and in nearly every family there is one of us that has broken down doors. Those of us who are proclaiming our identity and millions waiting to burst out of the seems of oppression that has been in works for a century. As in ancient times the world is yet again seeing the vast importance of the third gender people and our unique gift we bring to the world.

If television is the new American past time, then that medium was plastered with Trans faces; from Lavern Cox in 'Orange is the New Black' to 'Transparent'.  The T had finally risen from the back of the LGB line, so much that mega advocate groups like GLAAD had to  readjust themselves accordingly to admit...apologize...and correct it's lack of support for years of transgender people. The HRC, the largest LGBT group , received the force of the new Trans Rage after several transphobic incidents and are struggling to this day to win back the Transgender community.

Even pop culture icon MTV felt the influence by featuring Laura Jane Grace of the punk rock band 'Against Me'. Our neighbors to the north, Canada felt the influence as musical group The Clicks top the charts there. Even the literary world sat back in amazement as Janet Mock rose to the top of the New York Times best sellers list with her novel 'Redefining Realness', only to followed by the newest 'genderation' of Trans, Jazz Jennings and her novel 'I am Jazz'. Two novels hitting the best sellers list simultaneously and two first for Transgender authors.


While Laverne Cox and Janet Mock were scoring victories on the small screen, Mara Keisling, the Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), was quietly working to change federal policy on transgender issues. Together, the NCTE and the Obama administration made 2014 a banner year for transgender rights. Starting January 1st, the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity, made it possible for many transgender Americans to receive transition-related care for the first time. In April, the Department of Education granted Title IX protections to transgender students.

Legal progress in individual U.S. states and municipalities, on the other hand, has been a bit of a mixed bag. In January, California passed a notable law that protects transgender people's right to use the proper restroom, one of several so-called "bathroom laws" that have sent the Religious Right into a moral panic this year. In May, however, Houston Mayor Annise Parker buckled to pressure from the Right and removed language explicitly protecting transgender people's restroom rights from a contentious Equal Rights Ordinance; this move recalled the Human Rights Campaign's endorsement of a trans-exclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in 2007.

With California, New York and Oregon implementing new legislation this year, seven states and the District of Columbia now allow transgender people to change the sex designation on their birth certificate without undergoing surgery, but most states still require it. Ohio, Tennessee and Idaho still prohibit reissuing or amending birth certificates for transgender people under any circumstance.


2015 begins the Golden Age of the Transgender person. Finally living visible and proud has become more than an idea but a reality. From Lavern Cox's nomination of an Emmy, Janet Mock launching the first ever nationally syndicated news show on MSNBC hosted by a Transgender person, to some of the top models in the world being named as Transgender women. Women like, Andreja Pejic, Carmen Carrera and Lea T. With such presence the world now no longer laughs at RuPaul's transphobic comments and in fact was forced to apologize to the Trans Community. We had finally come out of the shadows as softer drag queens but the Men and Women we are.

One of the most exciting things happening within our community is the unity that has sparked. No longer those once seen as the only visuals of Trans Society, trans porn actors, looked upon in shame or separated totally by the greater society, but embraced. Those like Bailey Jay and Buck Angel  have lent their names to their fan base also to educate and advocate for the greater community.

In 2014 we were handed the keys to the world, how we proceed from here, the mark we make and the continued celebration of the Unity and Duality that is being Trans, will for the first time in history be up to the Trans Society. We now write our story, direct our films, control our bodies and media. Our legacy now lies in our hands and 2015 marks the moment we change the world.








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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Thank you TMP readers for the 2000th like on TMP facebook



O...M...G! Like totally lol. Really omg, thank everyone so much for the 2000th like on Transmuseplanet's facebook page. When blogging was suggested to me and doing a facebook page for the blog, I honestly didn't think anyone would care what I have to say. Either that or have me committed lol. Without ever seriously promoting the page or the blog TMP has steadily grown since Nov. 18 2012. Now the TMP blog has reach 75,000 views with the top 4 post having over 5000 views each.
I've received emails from people in Russia, China, and a 19 year old trans male in Australia that was so moved by a post, 'Best of Both worlds' that he wanted to contact me. He was suicidal...this was last year and I'm happy to say he is still with us, still in contact with me, and now on T and living Visible and proud as a Trans man.
I've heard from Trans producers in Germany who constantly keep me updated with the trans film world in that area. I've chat often with a young transfemale from Thailand who was in the sex trade industry and felt unwanted and ostracized by the greater Trans community, she told me that the unity that TMP speaks of made her feel apart of the community and since has left the sex trade industry, underwent her SRS surgery and now becoming an advocate herself.
I've gotten the chance to chat with respected bloggers like Monica Roberts, Meggan Summervile, Courtney Evans and so many more. I met a wonderful guy through this page and made many new friends whom I hope one day our paths cross.
I just want to thank each and every person who has liked this page, read my blogs and supported me, from the bottom of my heart I thank you.
As of today:
Transmuseplanet blog ; 75,000 views
TMP facebook page; 2000likes
TMP Daily Dispatch online paper; over 800 subscribers
TMP Twitter; over 600 followers
TMP Google + community page; 570 members
TMP on Tumblr; over 200 followers.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING AND LIKEING WHAT I'M TRYING TO DO. I HOPE I CAN ALWAYS HELP MY COMMUNITY FEEL MORE UNITY WITHIN AND TO CELBRATE THE WONDERFUL DUALITY OF BEING TRANS!
Sabrina Anna Samone


Sunday, December 7, 2014

TransMusePlanet's annual Top 20 Most Influential Trans-People of 2014

By Sabrina Samone, TMP






It's that time again TMP readers. On November 18th 2012 Transmuseplanet was started, and one of the first blogs was TMP's Top 20 most Influential Trans People. That blog remained the most popular post for six months. The following year's 2013 list was the most re-tweeted and shared post on TMP. It got TMP noticed as TMP caught the attention of other Trans online bloggers and social media pages that lead to interviews with Trans radio shows and Trans blogs worldwide.

 This year, TMP's two year anniversary, TMP would like to show respect and acknowledge those within the Transgender  Community for their commitment to excellence in their chosen fields, and to the overall visibility and empowerment of the Transgender society. Some of the criteria for making the list:
1) Being leaders in their field
2) The ability to inspire our community and our allies
3) Being positive role models
4) Exemplifying the purpose and beliefs TMP stands for: "The celebration of the Duality and Unity of being Trans."
They stand forever as a future reference for someone who happens years later to tumble and find Transmuseplanet online and see Transpeople fighting the odds, inspiring a new 'genderation', with connections to those that help continue paving the way.
 
Over the past year those that are mentioned were discussed here on TMP in my blogs; or their contributions to the Trans Community, and their stories shared on Transmuseplanet online links: ; TMP facebookTMP Daily Dispatch, TMP on Twitter TMP on Tumblr or TMP Google plus.

I hope you enjoy the listing and if you're not familiar with these social justice pavers within our community, then do take the time to educate yourself on the great contributions that they have made to our community. Their names are linked to their websites, charities, and businesses. Additional links have also been provided for any work of theirs you'd like to check out.
ENJOY!


Through your deaths we are strengthened to carry the torch of Trans Unity, Visibility, Pride, and the continued celebration of the Duality of being Trans.










2. Laverne Cox


There is no question that the most talked about Trans person of 2014 has been Lavern Cox, due in part to her recent success as Sophia on Netflix's 'Orange is the New Black'. With the success of the show Lavern Cox has finished breaking down a door that many Trans People have knocked upon for years, the doors of Hollywood. She made history with a nomination for an Emmy, the first for the Transgender community. It was as if we were watching history, just as Dorothy Dandridge had done in the 50's for the African American community.

Being first is becoming Laverne Cox's legacy. She was also the first Transgender character in a hip hop reality show, 'I want to work for diddy.' She also starred in her own reality show, 'Transform Me.'  In keeping with being first, on June 9, she became the first Transgender person to be on the cover of Time Magazine. She without a doubt made the most huge impact on the Trans Community this year and she continues to fight alongside with her brothers and sisters as an advocate for Trans rights.

3. Fallon Fox

No where more have we heard the words uttered 'should a trans' than in the case of Fallon Fox. Constantly the questions, should she or does she have an advantage as a trans woman in fighting. The MMA audience and leaders ignored the impact of estrogen in this equation.

Regardless Fallon persevered, gaining the right to fight along with gaining national attention and becoming a warrior personality for the Trans Community. Since her fame she has become a leading advocate and opponent to the TERF  , a anti transgender feminist lesbian community.






4. Rhys Ernst & Zackary Drucker


Ushering in a new genderation of artists, filmmakers, advocates and examples of Trans love relationships, this duo heated up the discussions and questions of how we view sexuality and gender. Rhys Ernst is a filmmaker and artist who works with narrative and experimental film, photography, animation, and mixed-media. Ernst utilizes various modalities to investigate transgender identity, masculinity, and intersections of gender and narrative construction.

Through their most discussed work, a collaboration of photographic art displaying trans love and transition , they gained national attention. The photo series is an intimate diary of the couple's love affair and their gender identity transitions -- Drucker from male to female and Ernst from female to male. The photos span five years of their relationship from 2008 to 2013. The photographs include tender embraces, bodies bandaged from hormone injections, and also shots of Drucker's growing breasts. 

As we near the end of 2014, the buzz is of the team Ernst and Drucker as associate producers of the newest Transgender series Trans Parent.  It seems we have only began seeing the work of these two talented people who are clearly opening a new door with in the community.


5. Carmen Carrera
 
With the entertainment door being knocked down by many like Laverne Cox, it's Carmen Carrera that is now gracing thru that  shattered door with beauty and glamor.

Known as a Burlesque dancer, actress and reality television personality. She made the greatest impact this year by bringing up the question, "is Victoria Secret ready for their first transgender model. This year  she ran a highly known and celeb supported campaign to answer that question.

She is now teaming up with Tyra Banks by launching a new docuseries 'TransAmerica'. The eight-episode docuseries will chronicle a group of Chicago women united by the shared experience of being transgender. The series is described as an earnest look at a group of millennial women -- who happen to be transgender -- living, loving and building their careers. The series will explore how their sexuality impacts their lives.


6. Jazz:
While doors once closed to transgender people are being knocked down, the new face of Trans Youth are preparing themselves to be the new leaders of the golden age of the Transgender movement. No one other than Jazz Jennings demonstrates that quality.

 Again, I will say here, we are looking at the first Transgender President, :). If my psychic powers aren't too rusty, that's my prediction, fingers crossed.

She has co-illustrated a memoir for children. A book Jazz says, 'is for any child that has felt different.' She has also become the new face of Trans by being one of the most outspoken advocates for Trans Youth, thru her site transkidspurplerainbow.org. At 14 she has recently been named by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential teens of 2014.


7. Dr. Kortney Ziegler:
is a writer, film maker, producer artist, but is most known for being one of the most prominent voices in the Trans community. A leader in the advocacy of Trans people of Color, he is outspoken with his drive to empower the Trans community of color. An advocate of education and a more inclusive role with in greater white privileged trans society, which at times seems to just happen to ignore the issues facing Trans people of Color. Those like Dr. Kortney Ziegler is one of those leaders making sure we are not ignored.

 In 2013 he was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Blog; he was the first African-American Trans man to be nominated for a GLAAD Media Award. He is the founder of Who We Know, a paid fellowship focused on creating products and developing initiatives that economically empower the transgender community of color.

Dr. Ziegler was most recently honored with the Authentic Life Award by the Transgender Law Center, the largest transgender advocacy organization in the U.S., at their 2013 Spark! event .



8.Lucas Silveira:

With the charm of Leonard Cohen, the soulful voice of Otis Redding and rhythmic sounds of Amy Winehouse; Lucas Silveira fronts the ever growing popular Canadian band Clicks.  With  critical comparisons of David Bowie and the White Strips, he is the lead singer, guitarist and part of the most accomplished musical act lead by a Trans man.


The band is a huge showcase at many summer festivals and in  2015 he will be toning down the sound and getting a little more intimate with a solo acoustic tour scheduled.

Lucas Silveira started the band in 2004. They  have toured with the likes of Cyndi Lauper and the Cult. Their first major label release was in 2006 with the cd Snake House.
Lucas Silveira , by making the music he does, mixed with style and fashion, is showing the dynamic range of the Trans Community. Knocking down doors once closed and portraying that we are capable of many great things.



9. Janet Mock :
In as many TMP annual Most Influential Trans persons posting, their was always Janet Mock. She topped our list the first two years and remains a major influence and favorite of TMP.

The Hawaii born and raised writer first made headlines as the editor of People Magazine online, when she came out as transgender. She quickly became a favorite on the Trans advocate circuit.

Janet broke new ground and a first of her own as she became the first transgender author to top the New York best sellers list, with her memoir 'Redefining Realness' She made headlines when as a quest on CNN's Pierce Morgan show, the host went on to say the author's work was "contentious" and 'controversial'. The adjectives used simply due to the Transgender content.

This year Mock accepted a job as editor of Marie Claire magazine.



10. Stephen Whittle:
 
 
Is a United Kingdom activist with the Trans activist organization Press for Change. Since 2007 he has been professor of equalities of Law at Manchester Metropolitan University. In 1974 Whittle came out as an ftm transman after returning from a women's liberation conference in Edinburgh.


11. Aydian Dowling: is the creator and owner of the extremely successful Point5cc T-shirt company.  A company he started innocently as a way to subsidize his surgery funds. The company has grown well beyond surgery funding into an iconic wear for Trans men worldwide. Now a family business, the Point5cc T-shirt company is ran by Aydian and his wife Jenilee, where the couple designs, make and distribute their work.  Seems a family that works together...stays together.










12.  Lea T

The Brazilian born Transgender Model is cutting thru stereotypes run way after run way world wide. Born in 1981 to well known former football player Toninho cerezo.  She grew up in Italy, the capital of fashion. It maybe there where she got bitten by the glamour bug.

It was during her rise in the modeling business that she revealed she was transgender and undergoing sex reassignment surgery in 2012. She currently is the muse of Givenchy, the new face of Redken and an outspoken leader in the LGBT movement.







13. Isis King:


Before the explosion this year of  Transgender models, there was Isis. Isis first gain fame as Tyra Banks Next Top Model, where she was a contestant on the eleventh and seventeenth seasons. Through her presence on the popular reality show, Isis maybe one of the Transgender people, that took the biggest punch at  mainstream entertainment business that other Trans people now find a little more flourishing in their favor.

She is now finding success on the other side of the catwalk as a fashion designer.








14.Andreja Pejic:
This year as we've noted was the year of the Transgender model, none this year grabbed more attention than Andreja Pejic.  Out of war torn Bosnia and of Serb and Croat blood she was born. Until this year, the modeling industry labeled her as androgynous before, politely, she corrected that she was transgender. She has walked the catwalk for the likes of Jean Paul Gautier and Marc Jacobs.

Earlier this year she underwent sex reassignment surgery.










15. Paula Overby  
 

Paula Overby is a horseback riding, American loving, country music type of gal from Minnesota that's not afraid to run for Congress. Overby announced her candidacy for 2nd District Minnesota last summer running for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party endorsement saying, that her campaign would work to end campaign financing.

After some old boy school politics at play and switching political Parties, she did run. Throughout her campaign Trans bloggers from coast to coast were dictating the outcome to us. In the end, Paula Overby had 5% of the vote, but that 5% may as well been a 5 ton stick of dynamite because a political spark that was ignited by Paula and others has the Trans Community now saying,  political office.

16.Ian Harvie

 
Harvie began his comedic career  in Portland Maine in 2002. He is currently a permanent cast member of Margaret Cho's Burlesque show. He began producing his comedy/talk show; The Ian Harvie show in 2007.He's also appeared in several films and incorporates his brand of advocacy thru his comedy.


17. Nick and Bianca Bowser
 
If there were a poster couple for Trans Love; relationships between two trans persons, there would be no doubt...that its spokes couple would be the Bowsers. Their story has been one of several high profile Trans Love couple headliners. After the break up of Katie and Arin, TMP Influential couple of 2013, Nick and Bianca were thrust into the role and image of the 'new modern trans family'.
Bianca, who is MTF was a well known entertainer through out Georgia and the Carolinas when she met Nick Bowser, who is FTM and the fairytale romance has been a topic of every tabloid from here to China. The two married and have naturally given birth to, two adorable young children. Nick is currently a pre-med student.
 
 
18. Monica Roberts
 
If I've said it once I will say it for the third annual listing; that one of the most influential Trans people of our time continues to be Monica Roberts of Transgriot Blog. The very muse and inspiration behind my creation of this blog, makes the list for the third straight time.
Monica is an avid advocate of Transgender equality along with EQUALLY and with out exception, African American and Women rights. 
This ambassador of equal justice has inspired, birthed, and groomed many a Trans-female blogger and advocate, including this one. As she  has said to me and many others, 'when you connect to your sisters and brothers in the community, you have connected to a sister and brotherhood that is endless'.
 

19.  Riley Knoxx:

    Is it Beyoncé? It maybe one of the most sought after Beyoncé impersonators, Riley Knox. Beyoncé maybe the hardest working woman in show business but her look a like is the hardest working Trans woman in entertainment. With the release of her calendar; to raise money for disadvantaged Transgender youth in and around D.C., she is proving she's more than a performer, but an advocate for youth growing up in a dysphoric world. She was also named Transmuseplanet's role model for the month of December 2014. She is one woman we will without a doubt be hearing more from in 2015.


20. Jody Rose Helfand:
 
A man of many talents. Jody Rose is most noted for being outspoken in the world of Trans Male fitness, sexuality and overall well being. A poet, he has an MA in English an MFA in Creative writing. His poetry has appeared in over 50 journals. His  first book of poetry, 'Places Male and Female' was released in 2010 and is currently working on his second. His work also spans into natural and holistic healing.





  Most important mention, YOU; every Transgender Man and Woman that dare to live there life with their heads held high. Thank each and everyone of my brothers and sisters, that through your lives we are making the world just that much better for those that follow with a celebration of the Duality and Unity that is being Trans.




            RELATED TOPICS ON TRANSMUSEPLANET


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TRANSMUSEPLANET: TOP TEN MOST INFLUENTIAL TRANSPEOPLE OF 2012
 
February's Book of the Month: O.E.M; an ftm/mtf Romance by Katie Leone

Defining who we are pt. Vll: Transgender...Dead...but Never Forgotten

Uganda and Transgender Rights...it's time!

By Sabrina Samone, TMP



Ugandan Transgender Activist Cleopatra Kambugu


 
First there was Nazi Germany, then Russia passed a national right to hate bill, now Uganda is trying. A upcoming documentary, "The Pearl of Africa", has already caught a major media buzz as it portrays, Cleopatra; a transgender activist in the midst of a violent climate in Africa towards LGBTQ people. Earlier this year parliamentarian proposed a bill that would make her very existence punishable by death. The law would have made her life null and void simply because she is Transgender and it would have been government law to do so. Luckily for many LGBT people, the bill failed.

Unfortunately because of her visibility fighting on the front lines of trans equality, Kambugu was singled out to be outed as Trans by a local tabloid magazine that does so in order for neighbors and towns to take their own form of vigilante  justice as they see it, up local LGBT people. Kambugu did loose her job and was forced to escape to Kenya.


Filmmaker Jonny von Wallström shadowed Cleo for 18 months amidst mounting anti-gay discrimination as she worked towards improving the welfare of  Uganda’s LGBTI community. In an essay written for the Huffington Post, von Wallström indicated that his impulse behind the creation of the film was to show other LGBTI Ugandans that they are not alone while “telling a story that humanizes the trans community” in an effort to change the prejudiced perceptions held by many. To avoid drawing attention to Cleo and the project at large, von Wallström moved into the Kampala apartment that Cleo shared with her boyfriend Nelson to create a moving, personal portrait of an African woman’s desire to navigate her gender expression and identity on her own terms.

Cleopatra and her boyfriend Nelson

Although the Anti-Homosexuality Act was struck down by the Constitutional Court of Uganda in August, the continued persecution of Uganda’s LGBTI community has left its members fraught with anxiety at the possibility of being the target of a hate crime with no hope for legal or social protection. The film was completed recently amid talk of a new anti-homosexuality bill being drafted by the Ugandan Parliament. This new bill, titled The Prohibition of Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices Bill of 2014, extends the criminalization of queerness by the Ugandan government set in motion since 2009 to include landlords who provide housing to “suspected homosexuals” and civil rights groups working to promote LGBTI equality in Uganda.


The Pearl of Africa will be rolled out in six short episodes starting December 8th on Huffington Post, Youtube and Ryot News. For more information on the feature length project, follow the film on Facebook and Twitter.



While the incidents of crimes against humanity seem a million miles away as many American LGBT celebrate marriage equality and Transgender going mainstream. Let's  us not forget that for nearly 3/4 of the world LGBTQ people are still put to death for who they are, imprisoned or shunned to live isolated lives. What we fight and how we live visible here today, echoes like the wings of a butterfly in far away lands like a tornado at the walls of hate. So it is our duty to live visible and proudly so that they may live or at least have hope too.


              RELATED TOPICS ON TRANSMUSEPLANET

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Trans* Faces #6 Riley Knoxx: A woman...ready to rule the world!

By Sabrina Samone, TMP


Is it Beyoncé or is it Riley Knoxx? If you know of Beyoncé's #1 impersonator in the country then you are in the loop but if you are unaware of those social media tags from tumblr , instagram, google plus, YouTube etc., are Riley Knoxx not Beyoncé and some of those Beyoncé tags are not her but Riley Knoxx, then no worries you are among the many people online throughout social media that is all a buzz about the other Beyoncé, even Beyoncé herself knows of her stand in. In fact a lot within the entertainment to political worlds have been seen at one of Riley Knoxx's shows.


What you may not know is that the other Beyoncé , Riley Knoxx, is more like her idol than you may realize. A strong accomplished Transwoman, she like many including her idol hails from the south with humble beginnings to rise to fame and yet a strong force in their communities grass root efforts. Recently Riley Knoxx announced the long awaited 2015 calendar of America's #1 Beyoncé impersonator and to announce that it is she that has twitter going crazy as to how Beyoncé is in LA and performing on the east coast at the same time.

With this release she is paying it forward by being that hand that reaches to the trans youth of our culture that at times may not see hope or a life beyond the city street corners. Some proceeds of the sale of the calendar Riley Knoxx 2015 are going to local grass roots organizations in and around D.C.

 Like many Transwomen  and particularly Transwomen of color who know the harsh realities of being a double often triple minority and the fight that has come and the fight yet to come. You will find as I have always known the beautiful soul behind the face, that Riley Knoxx is more than a pretty face, she is a woman of substance, ready to lend a hand and be a champion within her community, to promote healthy living and equality for those not often given a chance.
 
This is the first Trans faces interview where the quest is also featured among TMP's 20 most influential Transpeople and has been selected, due in part to her hard work at bringing more attention to the trans youth of the Greater D.C. area, as TMP's Month of December's Role Model on several TMP social network pages.
Click here to order Calendar



TMP: What's the most important thing, in beauty and make up, that's a must for Reilly Knox?

RILEY KNOXX:
 Great skin is most important to me. It's a great foundation to start with, before and after putting on makeup I try to take care of my skin. I absolutely never sleep in makeup. I always believed that the way you take care of your skin now determines the skin you will inherit when you get older.


TMP: Your known nationally as the best Beyoncé impersonator;  I have to ask...have you met her?

RK:  I've actually met Beyoncé three times. She was amazingly beautiful and extremely gracious . She has seen my work online and I'm friends with her stylist Ty who shows her things that I've done. Also fans constantly tagged her on Instagram when they see pictures/video of me and her likeness. It's an absolute honor to have the blessing of the person that I impersonate. But I think I would absolutely FAINT if  she actually came to a show.


TMP: What's your favorite Beyoncé CD of all time?

RK:  I love the album "B Day" but I must say the last album was extremely different than anything she's ever done.  You can really see the growth in her work and it's one of those CDs that you don't have to skip any of the songs because they're all really great. Also,  I love having a video for every song because I think that music is more than just sound now, it's also becoming a visual expression. So I think she nailed this last album.




TMP: How much of a Beyoncé fan are you and what has she, as your role model meant to you?

RK:   I'm a huge fan! I think I would have to be to emulate her the way that I do. I've studied her mannerisms, the way she walks, the looks in her eyes and her face. However,  I'm not someone who has Beyoncé posters all over my house. You wouldn't typically hear a Beyoncé album playing from the hallway of my apartment unless, I'm studying a new album that just came out and trying to learn all the songs. I know just about every single ad lib, every song and every live recording.
I've learned a lot about work ethic through Beyoncé. She's the hardest working woman in show business and in order to impersonate her, I have to keep up. I always say she keeps me on my toes, and keeps me working hard, but she also keeps me relevant. I also love the way she is off stage. I've learned a lot about being charitable from her about paying it forward. And the way she is so gracious with her fans inspires me to be the same with my fans.


TMP:  You've lived in the Greater DC area for some time, I'm I correct ? Also, you lived in South Carolina...you were raised there. Tell our TMP readers...what was life like as the young girl hiding behind the eyes?

RK:  I remember what it was like to be scared as a child, and to feel like no one understood me, and nobody was like me. That was the loneliest feeling in the world .I had no role models to look up to. I had one second cousin who is the first and only person I knew that was trans but,  I was not allowed to talk to her. And that at times made my childhood miserable. It's hard for someone when you don't see anyone like you to look up to. As a result I have blocked a lot of my childhood from my memory psychologically. I don't really think about it a lot. And I rarely speak about it. That place represents so much pain for me. Our girls today have such an advantage because there are people on TV and in media that are doing amazing positive things that are transgender and the world is starting to open up and it's so beautiful to be and see  it happening right in front of my eyes.

TMP: As your role now in the DC area, being a champion for the Trans Youth. What lesson of your childhood in Hartsville, S.C., plays in you being so  passionate about your work with youth?

RK: CHAMPION. I like that word lol. I just feel like it's my duty as someone who has a voice in this community to be more than just a pretty face. The first 14 years of my career were dedicated to getting my name out there and how to top myself with every performance and to really get the Riley Knoxx name out there. But its like, now that I have a voice and I've got everybody's attention what do I really have to say? I feel blessed to have this platform. A platform that I was not always comfortable having. you don't get to choose being a role model it chooses you. So I live my life everyday with the hopes of being  inspirational and worthy of the praise that people give me.
click here to order calendar




TMP: Your 2015 calendar titled  Reilly Knox is playing  a major role in the youth organizations. How is your calendar doing that?

RK:  Well I chose to give part of the proceeds from my calendar to benefit transgender youth. Living in Washington DC, there is a heavy population of transgender girls and I constantly have the younger girls coming up to me saying how much I inspire them and how much they love me and how much they want to be like me. So I felt compelled to give back to the community that has made my career so amazing. And I honestly just believe that they are the face of the future. I want to make sure that they don't have to be on the corner selling their body. That they are viewed as more than just a novelty, and that they feel empowered to be the best member of society they can be.


TMP: Any adult trans person living their truth today is a leader. How important it is of us now  to strengthen the  next gendernation?  

RK:  I think it is  extremely important that we educate the younger girls on the history of transgender women so they feel empowered to go forward in the future and carry on the legacy. And I honestly  believe that they are the face of the future. I want to make sure that they don't have to be on the corner selling their body and that they feel empowered to be the best member of society they can be. But I also want them to know we stand on the shoulders of GIANTS! All the girls that had to literally fight in the streets just so we can now walk around the city without being bothered today.

TMP: This is the first time I've had this pleasure; your on TransMusePlanet's annual Top 20 Most Influential Trans People of 2014 and for the first time I get to ask, how does it really feel to be named lol?

RK:  It's an amazing honor! I didn't really expect it. But I'm really grateful. It's nice to be recognized for all the hard work and to know that it's being noticed but I also feel like I have so much more to do. I'm just one of the many faces behind the movement. I haven't given the world the best of me yet.  The best is yet to come!!


TMP: I like to ask this one question of everyone who has come to share themselves with TMP. If you had one chance to tell the world and knew everyone would hear you at once, what would you like them to know about Reilly Knoxx?


RK: If I could tell the world anything about Riley Knoxx and I knew the whole world was listening, I would want them to know that I'm more than just a face that stands in front of you. I want to leave my mark on the world as an activist, as a woman and constantly working to make the world a better place for everyone not just trans women. I hope that I die working towards something great.






I was very pleased to chat with Riley Knoxx and to share that TMP readers and fans had nominated her as one of our communities most influential sisters and brothers. For too long the world of Transgender people in show business, the arts and political advocacy have not always worked in sync. TMP came two years ago when the hierarchy of Trans society was still trying to dictate and divide our community. Thru TMP I've been determined then and now to shatter those self imposed limitations on our people. TMP believes in the Duality and the Unity of the greatest people on earth and we have met the latest that will definitely be making her mark known in 2015.

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Remembering TDOR 2014 Charleston SC

Remembering TDOR 2014

By Sabrina Samone, TMP

This past month sisters, brothers, and allies came together around the world to remember those that will not be joining us to ring in a new year...and another year of life. Cities and towns across the nation and the globe held memorials to the list of names fallen due to gruesome deaths.

Names like:
Curtis Lipscomb, found shot and burned beyond recognition in a trash can in Detroit Mi.
Tiffany Edwards, gunned down in the middle of the street in Cincinnati OH.
Prince Joe, stabbed to death in Belize after being held up at knife point and giving the attackers everything they wanted. The list as we heard Nov. 20 went on and on.


The Reverend Arrington of UFcc Charleston
For me this year was more memorable as I got the chance to be part of Charleston, SC's first Transgender Day of  Remembrance ceremonies. Being at a TDOR event live is a world's difference from reading of one or seeing a video. As the names were read by countless allies and members of our community, tears swelled and all I could think about was what was I doing that day when Mia Henderson was found brutally murdered in a Baltimore Maryland alley.

TDOR was founded in 1998 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a trans-female graphic designer, columnist, and activist, to memorialize the murder of Rita Hester in Alston, Mass. Since its inception, TDOR has been held annually on November 20 and has slowly evolved from the web-based project started by Smith into an international day of action. TDOR is now observed in over 185 cities throughout more than 20 countries.

Dayna Smith Poet
Special thanks to the sponsors of the Charleston, SC TDOR, SC Trans Action and We Are Family. A huge applause to our host for the evening, Amy Garboti, SC Equality Trans Action, and huge hug to my sister Amy for the invite to speak. I had a blast and enjoyed the comradery of the event.


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