Schuyler Bailar is perhaps best known as the first transgender man to compete in the male category of any Division 1 NCAA sport. Since graduating from Harvard in 2019 with a double major in psychology and cognitive neuroscience, he has become a prominent activist for transgender rights and body positivity through his Instagram handle @pinkmantaray. He has also published multiple books on the transgender experience, including his recent book “He/She/They,” which includes the “essential language and context” of gender identity and recollections from Schuyler’s transition journey.
Has someone in your life recently come out as transgender? Are you wondering how to support them but don’t know where to start? While there’s a plethora of resources about transness available online, the sheer volume of information can be overwhelming
In February of this year, I had the pleasure of interviewing Black trans rapper Cuee. We discussed his career, future hopes, and musical and transitional journeys, but one aspect of our interview particularly inspired me: his emphasis on joy. Despite the darkness the transgender community faces, Cuee stated, “I want people to hear my story…and be like, ‘Okay, there’s the joy.’” His music has certainly achieved this goal — joy is present throughout his discography, and he has once again musically embodied trans happiness in his latest single, “Proud Boi.”
In the past year or so, there has been a scourge of discriminatory legislation targeting the entire Queer community, transgender individuals in particular. Bills have been introduced in state legislatures that attack freedom of expression, access to gender-affirming care, education, and visibility for the transgender and broader Queer community. These laws are an astonishing and frightening violation of basic human rights and speak to a worrying rise in widespread anti-transgender intolerance. Essentially, conservative politicians are trying to write Queer and trans people out of existence.
In Fall 2022, guest lecturer, Kadji Amin (he/him) of Emory University, presented his article “Taxonomically Queer?: Sexology and New Queer, Trans, and Asexual Identities.” I was nervous entering a room packed with mostly graduate students and professors, but when Professor Amin walked on the stage, my nerves melted away. I was gripped by his every word. Not only was his lecture the best one I’ve heard so far, but he was the first Asian trans professor I’d ever seen. As an Asian trans man myself, it was life-changing to see someone like me dedicating his life to studying people like us.
The seven countries that make up Central America have some of the most restrictive laws for queer and trans citizens in the Americas, denying them basic human rights, such as protection against discrimination and violence based on their identities; marriage equality; and the ability to change their legal identification to reflect their lived name or gender. Though younger generations are trending toward inclusivity, this rise in progressive thinking has been closely followed by an even sharper spike in conservatism. Still, there are queer activists in Central America who refuse to turn their backs on their countries despite their countries turning their backs on them. Here are four queer activists who have dedicated their lives to fighting for change in the countries that they call home.
Nathanaìl Evan Linardìs (he/him) is a transgender artist based in Athens, Greece. His work is primarily self-reflective and includes painting, music and poetry.
Cuee (he/him) is a 29-year-old Black trans recording artist from Chicago, IL, known best for his interactive and hype live performances. Cuee’s music style blends the lyrical confidence of Missy Elliot and Chance the Rapper with the undeniable swagger and finesse of LL Cool J. His debut single, “Shook,” was released in 2018 and has accumulated over 420,000 streams on Spotify.