The Trans 100 list, which was released yesterday and recognizes some of the country’s mightiest trans activists, includes not one but two people from Philly. Genderqueer activist and writer Che Gossett joins Van Nguyen, who we mentioned at the end of the day Tuesday, for their involvement in queer, trans and gender-nonconforming organizing against the prison system and for AIDS activism.
I reached out to them via Facebook to ask how they felt about being honored. “As a black femme and genderqueer person, I appreciated that the list intentionally included a range of trans identities. It is an honor. As a someone who struggles against everyday anti-trans invisibilization and gender policing — as do so many trans people, especially women and [those] of color — I am inspired by the visionary work of the many trans artists, activists, movers and shakers — both on the list and many who are not — who in their resilience help to make the world a place we can all inhabit.”
Gossett’s work to make the world a happier, more fair place reveals itself in a assortment of impressive projects. They are a contributor to Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex, a collection of essays and stories that attempt to offer “new ways for understanding how race, gender, ability, and sexuality are lived under the crushing weight of captivity.” They are also contributor to the recently released second volume of The Transgender Studies Reader, which is available at Giovanni’s Room.
Gossett’s curatorial and artistic skills have been seen around town in an exhibit they organized at William Way that offered a retrospective of the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference. They also directed a short film on AIDS activist Kiyoshi Kuromiya, which was shown at the Pop Up Museum of Queer History Philadelphia. Che is currently working on a biography of Kuromiya.
Many congrats, Che! This honor is well deserved. You can see the rest of the Trans 100 list here: firstname.lastname@example.org.