Protest! … Transgender Day of Visibility … Tennessee Williams

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Protest!

Sixteen of us squeezed into the China Buffet restaurant on Nicholas Street. It’s in the Chinatown area of Manchester under Ho’s bakery and next to the Chinese arch. It’s aptly named as it’s a small all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet style restaurant.

It’s very popular, fills up quickly and is just two minutes walk from Manchester Art Gallery, where Protest! a major retrospective of the work of Derek Jarman was being exhibited.

Jarman (1942 – 1994), one of the most radical and influential figures in 20th century British culture, is best known as a pioneer of independent cinema.

Artist Jez Dolan gave us a guided tour of the exhibition which expanded our understanding of Jarman’s wider practice which encompassed a range of media and disciplines: painting; filmmaking; design; writing; performing and gardening. More photos can be seen here.

There are two more events before the exhibition closes – Stormy Weather, a day of debate defiance and celebration on Friday, 8 April from 10.00am to 6.00pm (book here – cost £5) and The Canonisation of David Hoyle on Saturday, 9 April from 2.00pm.

Jez Dolan and The Manchester Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence invite you to the most solemn occasion of the canonisation of internationally acclaimed performance-art icon, David Hoyle, hereafter to be referred to as: Saint David of the Avant-Garde.

David Hoyle

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are a worldwide Order of queer nuns, the tenets of the Order being the promulgation of universal joy and the expiation of stigmatic guilt. It is with this in mind that The Sisters will be making their first English Saint since Derek Jarman (Saint Derek of Dungeness) in 1991. As is traditional and time-honoured in these matters, the ceremony will begin with the procession of the Saint-to-be through the streets to the place of canonisation. The procession, accompanied by the Eclipse New Orleans Parade Band will begin (2.00 pm sharp) from New York New York, a legendary queer space in Manchester’s gay village.

Join us on the procession to Manchester Art Gallery accompanied by flags and banners, smoke and mirrors to the ceremony of canonisation within the Derek Jarman Protest! exhibition. The slogans are: “Everyone equally VALID, Everyone equally BEAUTIFUL, Everyone equally JUSTIFIED”. Afterwards ALL are welcome for thanksgiving sherries at New York New York.

Transgender Day of Visibility

Transgender Day of Visibility is an international event on 31 March dedicated to recognising the resilience and accomplishments of the transgender community. On this day, we celebrate the trans people amongst us, raise awareness about the struggles that they face, and advocate for more protected rights for them in a bid to reform society and empower this community – as it so rightfully deserves. Let’s join hands together with the trans community to celebrate not ‘fitting in’ when we all yearn to stand out!

History of Transgender Day of Visibility

There is no doubt that the transgender community continues to face discrimination worldwide. Be it in the workplace, schools, or society, it has been subjected to immense harassment and inequality in every part of the world for the ‘sin’ of being born different.

Rachel Crandall, a US-based transgender activist, founded this day in 2009 to raise awareness for the incredible burden of discrimination the community faces in every setting imaginable. The need to bring a day of ‘visibility’ for the transgender community is indicative of the oppression they face in many sectors of life. Crandall wanted to highlight the fact that the only transgender-centric day that is internationally recognised is Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is in mourning of members of the community who had lost their lives, and that there was no day to pay homage to living transgender people.

In 2015, many transgender people took part in the event by participating in social media campaigns. They successfully made the day go viral by posting selfies and personal stories. Therefore, on Transgender Day of Visibility on 31 March, annually, we recognise and revere their contributions, successes, and relentless resilience in standing tall and strong in the face of injustice. Through this Day of Visibility, we hope to induce moral responsibility and tolerance, and lift the restrictions on the rights of transgender people.

Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams, here with his lover Frank Merlo. When Jack Warner met Merlo on the film set of “A Streetcar Named Desire”, he asked “What do you do?” Frank replied; “I sleep with Mr Williams.”

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