In partnership with Philadelphia Black Gay Pride, every day throughout the month of February we will spotlight an influential black mover and shaker in the city.
On March 8, 2011, the inaugural Philly Trans* March hit the streets to celebrate the vitality and promote the visibility of the multi-faceted “T” community. One of the visionaries behind this movement was local activist Christian Lovehall. As his alter ego, Wordz the Poet Emcee, Lovehall uses spoken word and hip-hop to spread a message of acceptance and social change.
What's your Philly connection?
I grew up in South Philly. I've lived in almost every part of Philly, have struggled and hustled, performed on countless stages and have made a lot of noise making a name for myself. Philly breeds survivors, and that's definitely what I've become.
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
The lead singer in a boy band.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
All freedom fighters of color — past, present and future.
Finish this sentence: I feel fiercest when ...
I create change — especially, when it involves me putting a smile on someone's face. It's such a beautiful and rewarding gift.
What's your proudest achievement?
Planning and organizing the first Philly Trans* March. I really didn't know how successful I'd be with getting folks interested in helping me plan the event. It was my first time organizing an event of that capacity and importance. It was extremely moving to witness so many transgender, gender variant, gender queer and gender non-conforming individuals and allies (350 people!) come out to let their voices be heard in the name of human rights. The magic was breathtaking. It was truly a day of community and love.
If you could have a super power what would it be and how would you use it?
I'd want to walk around with a big "R" on my chest. I'd be Revolution Man, ridding society of its phobias, -isms, and overall injustices with my all-too-powerful "brain wash."
Finish this sentence: In 10 years I ...
will be stronger, wiser and more resilient than I am today.
Hear some of Lovehall's tracks below: