Recently two pioneers of thought were lost: Chloe Dzubilo (transsexual activist) + Akilah Oliver (poet). I’d like to point everyones attention to some of their work and their legacy for a moment, since both of these people have helped pave the road that I am wandering down. Both died prematurely and it is a major loss to all the radical visionaries I call my “family”. Family is such a weird word for those of us that have abandoned our biological families or have felt betrayed by them, still it seems my adult life has been a long process of trying to heal myself from the pain of not measuring up to the standards my biological family placed on the “reality” they chose for me. Part of the healing process has involved building a new family that accepts me as the person I’ve chosen to be and the older I get the more I learn about the many distant relatives my new chosen family has acquired.
I didn’t know either Chloe or Akilah personally but I know their work, and I know many people whose lives they did touch and I see that they share in the vast constellation that my starry-eyed community comprises. If anyone has any other links to bits and pieces of them they’d like to share, please post in the comment section below.
The following pictures are from a show Chloe Dzubilo was in at Umbrella Arts entitled TRANSEUPHORIA:
Learn the Seat, 2008
Ink on paper
Put Ur Arms In The Air, 2008
Ink on paper
She Always Makes Things Bigger, 2008
Ink on paper
There Is a Transolution, 2010
Ink on paper
Ain’t nothing like knowin’ what it feels like…when you slip thru the cracks of society, political niceties, political correctness, health care, housing, employment, wealth, shoe stores, subways, family outings, holidays, systems, systems. Systems. Ain’t nothing like knowing these facts deep in one’s bones. When you’re transsexual. Ain’t nothing like knowing triumph over all of these adversities.
-– Chloe Dzubilo
There’s a great article commemorating the life of Chloe at the Daily Kos.
Both of us so shy and I attracted to her translucence on display beneath chaotic knitted cap offsetting a deadpan sky, what passed for winter, a screen that made me want to go around saying “Dakota”, those clear consonants holding us dear
I have been loved by women before, some of who I’ve loved back.
I have loved women before this simmering [it is not always an equation]
Should I wait, I should make time a pressing thing, Should I want, I should
She wrote me a picture that made a personal pronoun nascent
I wrote her a street in return, a green one with leafy things massing
Her mouth a wet and crawling thing I want in
My anticipatory field is not just any girl
She is many words before I may say an occasion
Having dinner with them was an almost pornographic experience
Has anyone seen my straw?
She eventually began to notate scripture
I learned to run, to gallop
So bright, it is hallucinatory in this room, fear breaking like distant bones
I’ve navigated this life, somehow on the run
Standing here as I am away from Ave A, styling a Kmart coat rabbit fur lined collar & my afro wig, [writing in pauses] trying to capture the text, the narrative in[of] the pauses, that silly tv on, making paralysis seem hip & the Absolut bottlers on strike
In recalling the details, I may have forgotten the particulars, of say, for example, rain
In situating the comedians as true, I may have foreclosed the narrowly attempted scat
In owning her causal lipsticks, I may have written too quickly a word canceling a form
May I imagine well enough to live forever as this gunner, as this diviner, at rest at this port
Shame is the lie, & its cousin, collusion, middling to fair.
May I want, again and, then, moisten the language.
Pull out of the closet, my shy mistress, Desire.
Negative limbs, approaching a light of a kind, deceptively, familiar but unreachable, the prettiest void. Ahead of the game, stopping action at point of transference, or street as maze again limp light again faint hollow again shredded moon again witless beer again trace again fainter again limb again limbs limbs shadows of corporeal time again the car again the sweater again how the light shifts again digression again sharp acidic cry that is it a thing could signify my sentry at the gate again a thing must negate again mirror again suck again it a thing must signify the hand again outstretched lying creamy a sheet under it the blue like parchment crustaceous outer hand is outside of me it is a creature seeking its own impossible completion it is outside of me it is attached it is again again my double saying come here come here the imploding yes of course we die yes again again dead dead dead again dead again dead again an hour not lonely again against a kind of collapse, that is what it is, a kind of evasion the voice the broken fingers the story the voice the hand the story it is a new body part