What are some publications you would give your seal of approval to or encourage other youth, those struggling with various life challenges as a transgender individual, a gender non-conforming individual, an intersex individual, an individual who has experienced abuse?
Julia Serano is a revolutionary and she really did equip me with a mental and an artistic arsenal when I read Whipping Girl, a study on trans misogyny. Because, you know, we will always talk about misogyny, but no one ever talks about trans misogyny and the fact that it is a different form of sexism that is directed toward trans individuals, namely trans feminine individuals. For me as an artist when I was coming up in Chicago there wasn’t a space for me as a trans artist. As a writer when I would go to open mic sets, queer open mic sets, I would get called the wrong pronoun. When I told people that I identify as a woman there would be gasps. There would be giggles and people who didn’t understand. So I always came up in this place of people understanding their plight, you know, gay people understanding how homophobia is wrong, but nobody knew anything about trans misogyny. When I read Serano she put everything in a basket and gave it to me, and I was just like, “Thank you so much.” I would definitely recommend that book to anybody who’s trying to get a grasp on why the world hates you oh so much. It’s because the world hates femininity. The world hates feminine beings. It’s not always about hating a woman. It is about hating femininity as well as hating a woman. Another book I would recommend is The Fabulous Sylvester. That book just was revelatory because I had already heard of Sylvester being this luminary, but to read their life story it just made everything so tangible and I was there. I saw Sylvester fighting record labels. I saw Sylvester captivating entire continents and I was inspired. I was assured that I could do that same thing.
KOKUMO KINETIC is the CEO and Founder of KOKUMOMEDIA and works with the Broadway Youth Center as the Program Design Specialist as well as Youth Scholar with Affinity Community Services. KOKUMO is currently working on a myriad of works including her second play, an album, a poetry collection and is the creator of the Transgender Gender Non-Conforming Intersex Freedom (T.G.I.F.) festival.