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Revolution Is Love: A Year of Black Trans Liberation

Revolution Is Love: A Year of Black Trans Liberation

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Revolution Is Love: A Year of Black Trans Liberation is the powerful and celebratory visual record of a contemporary activist movement in New York City, and a moving testament to the enduring power of photography in activism, advocacy, and community. In June 2020, after a Black trans woman in Missouri and a Black trans man in Florida were killed just weeks apart, activists Qween Jean and Joela Rivera returned to the historic Stonewall Inn—site of the 1969 riots that launched the modern gay rights movement—where they initiated weekly actions known thereafter as the Stonewall Protests. Brought together by the urgent need to center Black trans and queer lives within the Black Lives Matter movement, a vibrant and radical community emerged. Over the following year, the Stonewall Protests brought together thousands of people across communities and social movements to gather in solidarity, resistance, and communion. Each Thursday was an invitation for protests, healing, and celebration—whether through marches, voguing balls, or vigil—and a living testament to love in revolution. This book gathers twenty-four photographers who participated in these actions to share images and words on the demonstrations and their community at large, preserving this legacy as it unfolded. Through photographs, interviews, and text, Revolution Is Love celebrates the power of shared joy and struggle in trans community and liberation. Featuring images and text by Ramie Ahmed, Lucy Baptiste, Budi, Brandon English, Deb Fong, Snake Garcia, Stas Ginzburg, Katie Godowski, Robert Hamada, Chae Kihn, Zak Krevitt, Erica Lansner, Daniel Lehrhaupt, Caroline Mardok, Ryan McGinley, Josh Pacheco, Jarrett Robertson, Phoenix Robles, Souls of a Movement, Madison Swart, Cindy Trinh, Sean Waltrous, Ruvan Wijesooriya, and David Zung


Qween Jean is a New York–based activist and costume designer who has designed over fifty shows. She earned a BA in business communications at the University of North Carolina and an MFA in design from New York University Tisch School of the Arts. In 2020, Jean founded Black Trans Liberation, an organization aiming to provide access and employment resources for trans and gender nonconforming communities. In 2021, she was artist-in-residence at MoMA PS1, New York, where she also cocurated Memoriam and Deliverance, an installation that called awareness to the last five years of transphobic fatal violence while celebrating Black trans leaders.
Joela Rivera is an Afro-Caribbean, Transgender Abolitionist and organizer based in New York.
Mikelle Street is a New York–based editor and storyteller. He is the former editorial director of digital for Out, the Advocate, and Plus magazines, as well as creator and host of HBO Max’s The Let Out: A Legendary Podcast. Street also previously held positions as digital director and senior editor at Out Magazine and style editor at Maxim. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, GQ, Vogue, i-D, and Aperture, among others.
Raquel Willis is an activist, award-winning writer, and media strategist dedicated to Black trans liberation. She has held groundbreaking posts throughout her career including director of communications for Ms. Foundation for Women, executive editor of Out Magazine, and national organizer for Transgender Law Center. During her time at Out, she published the GLAAD Media Award–winning Trans Obituaries Project. She has written for Autostraddle, Bitch, Buzzfeed, Essence, For Harriet, HuffPost, PRIDE, Quartz, and VICE. She will release her debut memoir about her coming of identity and activism with St. Martin’s Press in 2023.

Title: American Silence
Publisher: Aperture, 2022
Format: Paperback
Size: 17x 23.4 cm, 224pages
ISBN:  9781597115308

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