TRANSCRIPT: TransLash Podcast, Episode 14 ‘Black Trans History and Futures’

Imara Jones: Hey fam. It’s Imara. Welcome to the TransLash Podcast, the show where we take a look at what’s going on in the world from a trans perspective. I hope y’all are out there managing to stay warm. This week, we’re celebrating Black History Month, exploring how Black trans histories can help us envision and build toward bright Black trans futures. For that, I’m sitting down with Tourmaline, the incredible artist, activist and scholar who’s transformed how we access and understand who we are.

Tourmaline: All my work is so spiritually grounded, it’s like about ancestral stewardship. It’s about receiving the message, the message that definitely didn’t end when they were in a physical body, but continues to be beamed to us if we care to pay attention to it.

Imara Jones: But before we get to the show, I just want to shout out all of our wonderful listeners who’ve been sharing love for the show on social media and in the review section of Apple Podcasts. One review that just warmed my heart was G00D0G, who said, quote, “Listening to the TransLash Podcast is like taking a warm bath. It makes me feel relaxed, happy, and like I can let my guard down.” Alright, now, we do all that? So if you leave a nice review like that, or talk up the show on social media, we might feature your words, too. With that, let’s tell some trans stories to save trans lives.

We’re going to start off as usual with a little bit of Trans Joy. One thing lifting my spirits this week is Black trans entrepreneurs, those of us charting a path to build a brighter future for ourselves and our communities. One of those entrepreneurs is Jaimie Freya Knott, she makes these stunning vegan soaps that smell amazing. Jaimie also plans to release some eco-friendly lip gloss later this year. Here’s what she has to say about the importance of entrepreneurship for trans people.

Jamie Freya Knott: The entrepreneur, like, I guess, mindset or like, building into creating businesses and income streams, it’s created more of a sense of freedom and control over my life. It’s given me confidence to move forward and not have such a toxic relationship with capitalism, but learn to conquer it and make it work for me. As a trans woman of color in the South, I just want other girls like me to know that you can create whatever future you want for yourself, and that the world is not as scary of a place as it feels like.

Imara Jones: Jamie, you and your products are trans joy. 

February, in addition to being the month of Aquarius, Pisces, and Valentine’s Day, is also the home for America’s celebration of Black history. Normally, during Black History Month, we look backwards, but how we see the past shapes how we see the future. And as many of you know, I’m obsessed with trans futures, especially Black trans ones. That’s why it makes sense for us to talk today for our entire show, with the one and only Tourmaline, the visionary artist, filmmaker and scholar who uses visual art forms to help reconceptualize the power and presence of trans people, especially Black trans people, in the past, present, and future. She’s single-handedly the reason we know so much about Marsha P. Johnson.

Tourmaline spent a decade researching the visionary trans icon. She made the beautiful short film “Happy Birthday, Marsha” about Marsha P. Johnson and her life and hours before she ignited the Stonewall uprising. Another short film of hers, “Salacia,” was added to the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art last year. The experimental film reimagines the life of Mary Jones, one of the first trans people known to American history. Mary Jones was Black, trans, and a sex worker in the 1800s.

Tourmaline also recently had her very first solo exhibit, “Pleasure Garden,” on display in New York. It’s a stunning collection of self portraits set alongside the film Salacia, which envisions liberation and what’s possible through pleasure and ease. Tourmaline is also working on a book called The Beauty and Deviance of Marsha P. Johnson. It’s set to be released next year. Tourmaline. I’m such a huge fan of your work. And I’m thrilled that in the midst of your move that you are able to take the time to talk to us today.

Tourmaline: Thank you, it is always an honor and a privilege to be speaking with you. I love the way that you think about the world and are a visionary and bring us all into the future, not leaving any of us behind. The emphasis on community that you have is so life-affirming. So I’m really happy to be here.

Imara Jones: Thank you, thank you so much. And there’s so much to talk about, there’s no shortage of things that occur in your mind and with your talents. So this is gonna be a rich conversation. I’m super duper excited. I think the last time I was able to sit down was in a nail shop. And that wasn’t long enough.

Tourmaline: Yeah.

Imara Jones: So I’m curious as to why Black trans histories are so important to you, and why you spent a decade looking into the life of Marsha P. Johnson. And additionally, what made you focus on Mary P. Jones? Why does the past and why is this diving into Black trans history so important to you, as a person and an artist? 

Tourmaline: Absolutely. That’s such a great question. Looking at the past, and specifically the past of Black trans people, as a way to feel through my “now” and imagine and dream up the future to which I’m going, we’re all moving towards, feels so important, because it allows me to kind of bask in the beauty of people who, every day small acts of resistance and refusal, and glamour, and rest and ease and power and pleasure, all allowed me to be living the really fabulous life that I get to have right now.

I remember, back in the early 2000s, when I first started being a community organizer in New York City, there was a gap, I used to talk about it as like historical erasure, there was those of us who were Black and trans, and Black trans women and Black trans people and non-binary people, you know, we were gathering together to collectively remember our power and use it to shape the world in order for us to live and survive. And I remember being in that moment, and just being so curious about the past and who came before, who was doing this work before we were. And one of the things at that time, you couldn’t like look Marsha P. Johnson up on the internet, there was absolutely nothing about her.

It is amazing the kind of see change that has happened in my lifetime in terms of just the breadth and the the knowledge and the clarity that we as a community have about our value and importance. And part of that I think has been in the appreciation of those who came before us like a Marsha P. Johnson or a Mary Jones, or a Miss Major who’s still alive, you know, and just had a baby, and she’s in her 70s. And so to me, you know, having conversations with people like Miss Major, who’s a close friend of mine, about how things have shifted and changed over the course of her life, you know, so she was at Stonewall during the rebellion and then she was at Attica, right after the uprising. And she was in the Bay Area, you know, doing organizing and support work around the HIV/AIDS epidemic, you know, support for people who are currently incarcerated. And I made a short animated film about, you know, her life and the ways that she, you know, really takes up space to be all of who she is. And part of that came from a conversation where she was talking about, you know, when she was coming up there were anti-cross dressing laws. So, if you were assigned male at birth, and you’re a trans woman, and you weren’t wearing quote unquote, three articles of “male” clothing, you could be arrested and put in jail.

Those were laws that were on the books and in New York City, that the NYPD regularly enforced and enforced for people who are living in public, right. These were laws about regulation of people showing up in public, and I had to really sit and think about, “Wow, they’re really trying to enforce a sense of morality on public space, and it’s in response to the power of trans aesthetic.” There’s something so powerful about our art form, about our expression, about our way of moving around in public life, that is at odds with the morality of the state. Like, I want to get deeper with that, I want to really be in that space and discover and feel through that, and change my life. And that’s why, you know, I spend more and more time in that kind of creative art-making space, because I get to be around people who have always been dreaming up, and then making real, their wildest imaginations for what freedom means. 

Imara Jones: Mm hmm. Yeah, I think it’s really fascinating, because as I hear you talk, you know, what’s so clear is that in the past 10 years, as you say, for example, with Marsha P. Johnson, we’ve seen such a dramatic change. And so even knowing who she is not to mention an Institute being named after her and all these other things. And it’s fascinating, because we think about Black history is something that’s occurred in the past. But what’s so clear is that through your efforts, you’re actually making Black history in the present. And that’s just a really powerful thing to contemplate, that’s happening in real time before us. And kind of on that point, how has Black trans history fueled your creativity?

You touched a little bit upon it, but I’m wondering if you can just unpack a little more, because it seems that in many ways, it’s a foundation for your creativity. If I look at your work, it’s one thing to explore the past. It’s another thing for the past to inspire. So can you talk a little bit about that?

Tourmaline: So I think that there are maybe three things that I would say. One is that that last space of like, aesthetic refusal, rebellion, collective resistance, and power is so generative, right, if the NYPD is locking up people, based off of their aesthetic expression, and how it resists like the laws on the books, then there must be something really powerful about that, if there’s something so terrifying to the state about our art, that they have to turn into the little–literal Fashion Police, then I want to get deeper, I want to, you know, really figure out well, what’s there?

And in that process, you know, I remember–so this was, like, 2007, I helped make a film with a group called the Welfare Warriors, we were a group of low-income, or formerly low-income, queer, trans, gender-nonconforming people in New York, navigating the welfare system, health care system, Social Security, kind of all of the infrastructures that, you know, when you’re poor or low-income, you have to, you know, interact with in order to survive. And so we made a film just about our lived every day experience and wanting to reflect that back to our community.

Because one thing that we noticed was, there are stories being told about us, but not by us. And that didn’t sit right. Or we wanted to say, you know, we can expand that pie, right? And then there were stories being told about us, but not for us. And so to me, it was, felt so innovative. And so I think that as the second thing feels really important, it’s like, Who’s the audience? How does it feel when we’re making it? Is it life affirming? And so often when we think about the past, and then seeing, through kind of talking to friends of someone like Marsha P. Johnson, or, you know, family members, people whose lives she touched in every day, really feeling the power of her life force, how generative it was, how generous it was, and then wanting to say, okay, you know, this is a powerful story.

She changed the world. She’s on the level of an innovator, like someone might consider a Steve Jobs, right. It’s like, Steve Jobs had the iPhone and the Apple Computer, but Marsha reformed and reshaped our cultural landscape on such a huge level, like her concrete actions are why so many of us get to live with a greater sense of freedom. It’s why we celebrate Pride every year. It’s why conversations about mutual aid and mutual relief are on an even kind of more amplified way. You know, her real work was supporting community but also showing up in her level of deviance. She was regularly walking naked down Christopher Street, I’m like, that is such a generous gift to everyone who was on Christopher street those days, you know, and, and to me, that kind of like community support, making more of what she wanted, thinking about what is possible, and then through small, everyday actions concretizing that making it real, so that then you have like, bail funds that she started and then you have like legal support that she started through STAR and STAR House, and then you have her performing, you know, she was a really powerful performer with this off-off-Broadway group called the Hot Peaches. And then she was also a HIV/AIDS activist, you know, she was a member of ACT UP.

At all stages of her life, she really was leading the way. And I think it’s so beautiful to frame that and offer that gift, you know, which can only just be kind of a reflection of, can never totally encapsulate all of who she was, and we don’t want it to, but it can inspire. So my goal is really to create art that inspires us to not just bask in the beauty of Marsha P. Johnson, and what she was doing before, not just realize, well, art is so powerful, it’s shaping the world. It’s butting up against people who don’t want to be shaped, you know, in such a powerful way. And then the third point is, what is that offering us in our current everyday situation? And I think that, to me, is where I’m spending even more of my energy right now.

Imara Jones: Yeah, all of that, as you mentioned, one of the things that you’ve been focused on, and where you’ve been led through your focus on creativity, and by trans history, is this world and this concept of freedom dreaming, this idea that these spaces that we create, for us in the present, that are small flowers in Marsha’s hair, for example, help to create possibility, and that freedom dreaming, as you describe it, is essential. And I’m just wondering if you can talk about how freedom dreaming is an essential ingredient for us in the future, and how it’s helped people in the past?

Tourmaline: People like Ella Baker, the civil rights icon and organizer really demonstrated the power of freedom dreaming, and freedom dreaming has a long history, and lots of people have been, engaged that term to mean an abundance of things. But I’m really thinking about it in the way that someone like Robin Digitelli, wrote about it in his book on freedom dreaming, and so to me, it’s like, “What is the power of being aware of this little things that we have right now that maybe aren’t so little that in our appreciation of, we can make more of?” So I think about someone like Miss Major who regularly talks about, you know, can we just feel the glory of a cold drink of water. That’s both really simple. But it’s also really not, like access to running water and clean water is not a simple thing. And Miss Major’s, like, ask and invitation for us to appreciate a cool drink of water is a really powerful in this moment, specifically in this political context moment, powerful way to think about freedom dreaming, right?

Like these things that we may or may not take for granted, basking in the appreciation of them, and all of what has happened in order for us to have it. And in that, like, imagining more of it, more ease when accessing a cool drink of water, more ease when moving around in the world. I remember, you know, for much of my life, like I’ve been agoraphobic and so going outside, both because of the real violence against Black trans people, and because of all of the stuff going on with me, is just been a challenge. And so that’s a moment when I might not have access to the action of going outside and going for a walk. But can I allow myself to dream up the possibility of ease of moving around outside and then start to shape the world around that dream. And so I think for me, freedom dreaming when maybe we don’t have access to the action, right, associated with, like, going outside, but we let ourselves kind of dream up the possibility of it. And then little by little, imagine, and know that it’s possible, we can come together in the midst of a mess of a thing and shape and shift the world so it’s even more possible.

That’s the kind of freedom dreaming that I mean. I mean, like thousands of people at the Brooklyn Museum over the summer, affirming the importance, the inherent value, the power and the beauty of Black trans life. I mean, thinking about how every day, we can be like supporting each other and to have access to a cool drink of water, or sending money to people’s commissaries, or bail funds. All of that, to me, is part of freedom dreaming, and it’s really wonderful. In moments when I don’t feel like I can do an action, say go outside, that I let myself dream. And, you know, little by little, remember that what I want is possible.

And I just have it, I think about the story of Seneca Village, which was a free Black community in New York City. And it came about at a moment when slavery was still legal in New York. This is like the 1820s. And no one was selling Black people land. And yet the power of the dream, the freedom dream of a piece of land in New York City, where Black people, our community could have a greater sense of ease and freedom really helped those who started it move in the direction so clearly of their desire and their dream that the world couldn’t help but move and morph around that. And then it happened. To me, that’s what the power of mass movements and mass dreaming and freedom dreaming is. To me, I think that kind of like freedom dreaming is something that I love to have access to. When I can’t do other things. And then I remember, oh but I can dream, and people have shaped the world based on their dreams.

Imara Jones: Yeah. And I think for me, it is why for a lot of your work, I feel so expanded by it, and so lifted up by it. So when you talked about having a fear of moving about, when you look at so many of the pictures that you’ve taken for Pleasure Garden, or even a series that you did with Vogue over the summer, I believe it was, over imaging Black trans futures, they are so expansive in space outside and show you in these like fantastical, but still erotic and naturalized settings. And they’re so incredibly expansive. And they flow out of this need, as you say, to freedom dream, which I think is really, really powerful.

One of the things that just occurred to me as well, when you spoke about historically erasure for us, there’s also a future erasure. It’s an area that we both share, but I know that you’ve also began to think about it as well. What do you think is so important for us to have Black trans women in science fiction, or in our imaginations of future?

Tourmaline: Yeah, I mean, I think that it’s so beautiful. When we let ourselves imagine that we get to be alive, right? Like, we get to continue to be alive and continue to be alive and continue to be alive, in an infinite sense. And so then the logical conclusion or beautiful conclusion of that is, well, then we’re going to show up and, you know, representations of the “continuing to be alive”-ness of who we are, and our deservedness of that, meaning we’re gonna be in some shows, we’re gonna be in some books, we’re gonna be in some graphic novels, we’re going to be in some podcasts, like narrative podcasts, we’re going to be in some comic books, like, we’re going to be at some Comic Cons. And when we’re not, that’s a great clarifying moment for what it is that we want, and for us to create that reality. And I’m really excited to, you know, be moving in that space.

I don’t think that there’s a, like, TV genre that I feel more excited about than like science fiction and fantasy. And so it’s really kind of funny when we’re not represented in that landscape. And then I’m like, you know what, we get to write those shows. The best episodes of any kind of Star Wars or Expanse, or Altered Carbon, or Marvel Cinematic Universe have not been written yet. Because we aren’t in them. And so there’s a huge gap in the power of what these stories can tell because of the erasure of who is, you know, not shown in them. And that, to me is like, both an enraging thing, but also like an exciting thing, because I cannot wait to like watch your written and directed, you know, series that shows up on Disney+, or Amazon or Netflix or YouTube. Those are gonna be the best episodes. It’s kind of like how Kai Lumumba Barrow, who is one of my mentors, you know, who’s been a long term member of the Black Liberation Movement would be like, “Oh, that’s cute, but let me show you, like, through the demonstration of my powerful art, like, what’s really amazing.” When we continue to do that, it’s just so generative, and it’s also really fun.

So I’m so aware of the gift of who we are both in just our everyday life-ness and our art and our storytelling. And one day soon, Star Wars or Marvel Cinematic Universe or The Expanse, one day soon, they’ll find out, or they’ll continue to reproduce a reality that is dust-to-dusting and really not relevant while we’re making really beautiful life-affirming generative content, our story. And to me, I’m kind of like, okay, like, if y’all want to go that route, that’s fine. I don’t think that it will behoove you. But I know that we’re going to continue to share our stories, and really powerful, fun, sexy ways. And you can either get on this train or not, you know, and my guess is that they will, because it’s us, and we’re so fucking powerful.

You know, I mean, like this conversation, we’ve been able to talk about so much in just a short period of time, I know I’m going to be rethinking your questions well after I get off the phone. It’s like, your questions are freedom dreaming questions, they are those abundant questions that invite us to make more of what we want to thank you for that.

Imara Jones: There’s also a short answer, which is that like, we are the future. Like, duh, I mean, duh. So yeah, you’re not gonna be able to imagine that without us. 

Tourmaline: But I guess what with that, it’s like, we are the future. And so it’s like, if you’re not gonna imagine us in it, then you are clearly, Marvel or whoever, the past. 

Imara Jones: That’s right. 

Tourmaline: And, you know, there’s some beautiful workers of the past. Yeah, I count myself in, in them, but that’s not the past that I’m ever going to be working around. That’s a dust-to-dusting reality. That’s a dry, dusty reality. Like we bring the life, we bring the life and everyone wants to be where the life is. So if they’re not going to do it, that’s means– that’s a real important reflection of, you know, how long they’re going to be around.

Imara Jones: Yeah. And their way is killing the world. 

Tourmaline: Yeah. 

Imara Jones: I mean, it’s also that like, not only are we the future, et cetera, but the way that you’re working the way that you’re doing, the way that you’re thinking, the way that you’re imagining, the way that you’ve done the past is actually the thing that’s breaking the world. So we can’t continue to do that. 

Tourmaline: Right. Exactly. 

Imara Jones: Like also very practical on some level.

Tourmaline: Yeah.

Imara Jones: One last question here in the formal part of our interview that I have for you, kind of takes us back to where we started, which is, you know, you’ve spent so much time with Marsha P. Johnson over the years, and have absorbed so much of her and who she was, and is, right, continues to be, because she is also– 

Tourmaline: Yeah. 

Imara Jones: present. 

Tourmaline: Yes. 

Imara Jones: And I’m wondering if you have you ever thought about or if you could think about right now, if she were to be transported to 2021 and have a conversation with you. What do you think that she would say and what do you think she would make of this moment?

Tourmaline: Honestly, I have conversations with Marsha all the time. I think there’s like a public facing kind of conversation that I have with Marsha and then there’s like a more intimate spiritual one. All my work is so spiritually grounded, it’s like about ancestral stewardship. It’s about receiving the message, the message that definitely didn’t end when they were in a physical body, but continues to be beamed to us if we care to pay attention to it. To me, it’s in all of the flowers that are like always going up around. Wherever I’m walking, it’s in the deviance. It’s in the delicious conversations like the ones that you and I are having right now.

I think that it would be really similar to a conversation that you and I are having right now. There’s this beautiful interview, beautiful interview of Marsha, in 1991, maybe six months before she died. And she’s just talking in such a sci-fi way. And it’s what I’m making my next work about, about. She’s saying I want to get on the spaceship and blast off to Virgo, you know, and I’m like, “That’s amazing.” 

Imara Jones: Wow. 

Tourmaline: Like she’s planetising a constellation and about to travel to it. Her whole life, she talked about being like a space age person. All the time, in this interview, and across her life, she was talking about being space-oriented, right. She named her organization STAR after that celestial expanse. And she was working to concretize it, that expansiveness, right, about who is allowed to be alive, she was concretizing it or realizing it in her now, reality of that 1970s moment when she named her organization STAR, like that’s just mind blowing, right? And she continued to be captivated and called by a kind of celestial expanse. And so in this interview, she was talking about wanting to blast off on a rocket ship, wanting to go to Virgo, being a Martian.

And she’s also cackling and she’s talking about her brain is a computer and how it doesn’t work sometimes. And she’s also in a ketamine hole, you know, like, she’s just amazing. And she’s like, talking about how some things haven’t computerized in her brain yet, and that’s why she can’t give an answer. She’s like living in her own wonderful science fiction reality, and then inviting us along to it. And I think that’s why I talk about the celestial expanse, right, it’s like the dream of more. And she named her organization after the dream of more. And she was working in her day-to-day to create the dream of more for all of us, so I imagine that a conversation with her in 2021 is about the dream of more, and how we can get on that rocket ship with her towards that, without ever having to even leave home.

That’s where the dreaming comes in, without ever having to reach for more than, like, what we imagine to be possible, because all of that we want is possible. And I think that’s what so much of her life is constantly teaching me you know, it’s like those funny, delicious moments, those deviant moments, those moments of the dream of more.

Imara Jones: Wow, this must be some sort of astrologically inspired conversation because not only as a child, the first thing that I wanted to be was an astronaut.

Tourmaline: Oh my god. Yes.

Imara Jones: It was the very first thing I wanted to be, for a very, very, very long time.

Tourmaline: Literally same! 

Imara Jones: Really? 

Tourmaline: Yes.

Imara Jones: Oh, wow. Oh, yeah. No, I even wrote to NASA.

Tourmaline: Oh, my God. I love that.

Imara Jones: Yeah. I wrote–no, actually, I wrote to the White House about the need for a space station– 

Tourmaline: Yeah! 

Imara Jones: at seven years old, like a permanent Space Station. Not the little flimsy things that we have.

Tourmaline: Right. 

Imara Jones: I was lobbying the government for a space station at the age of seven. 

Tourmaline: Wow, I see that. I see that.

Imara Jones: And it is also the case that the day that we’re recording this The United States is supposed to land on Mars. 

Tourmaline: Yeah. 

Imara Jones: A new rover, Perseverance that is to explore life on Mars. And we just had a conversation about Marsha imagining herself as an interstellar, you know, interplanetary being and one of the words that you use was Martian.

Tourmaline: Yeah. 

Imara Jones: So it is so much this link and this visioning of possibility around immediate resources, but also possibility for us in the world and in the universe that connects us to the ideas of Black trans past and Black trans futures. And I just want to thank you so much for having the courage and the conviction of your vision through extreme hardship to bring these realities and concepts to us. Thank you so much, Tourmaline.

Tourmaline: Thank you for all your work. It’s really an honor whenever I get to speak with you.

Imara Jones: That was Tourmaline, a groundbreaking filmmaker, artist and scholar on re-envisioning Black trans histories and futures.

Thank you for joining me on the TransLash Podcast. Now listen all the way through to the end of the show for my bonus conversation with Tourmaline about our favorite sci-fi fiction show that’s streaming right now. I’m your host, Imara Jones.

If you liked what you heard, please go to Apple Podcasts to rate and review us. You can listen to TransLash wherever you get your podcasts. Check us out on the web at to sign up for our weekly newsletter.

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TransLash Podcast is produced by TransLash Media by Futuro Studios. The TransLash team includes Ruby Fludzinski, Oliver-Ash Kleine, Montana Thomas and Yannick Eike Mirko, our intern is Marana Munson-Burke and the Futuro Studios team includes Nicole Rothwell, Jest Alvarenga, Stephanie Lebow, Julia Caruso, Leah Shaw, Elisheba Itoop, Rosana Cabanne and Gabriella Baez. Our digital strategy is handled by Daniela Capistrano.

The music you heard was composed by Ben Draghi and also courtesy of ZZK Records. 

Alright, Tourmaline. So I have one question for you. Do you watch Wandavision?

Tourmaline: Yes, yes, I do. 

Imara Jones: Okay. All right. So for me, you can’t understand Wandavision fully, I think, without being trans. 

Tourmaline: Mm hmm. 

Imara Jones: Because for me, her vision is actually a trans vision. 

Tourmaline: Mm hmm. 

Imara Jones: Like if you think about the way in which when she is like this singular figure, and she’s actually created the world that she wants for herself, like she created, she’s created Vision, right? Like she’s created a man, she’s created children. She’s created a society and a world which works for everyone. That’s her vision. That’s what she wants to do with her power. Right?

Now, I do believe that she’s being manipulated and all that. But at her core, even if she’s being manipulated in this, the world that she is creating is one where she is manifesting, literally everything she’s, she wants, she is not confined by a limitation of what she can and cannot do. And even when that world came under threat, what did she do? She enlarged it.

Tourmaline: That’s exactly right.

Imara Jones: Do you know what I mean? 

Tourmaline: I know exactly what you mean, I think you couldn’t have said it any better than you just did. That’s the dream of more the, and people pushing up against it. And the dream of more expands, it’s an expansive reality, that she is making more all the time. And, you know, that’s like a page out of Marsha’s book, that’s a page out of all the people who were showing up in public, dressed in the way that they want to dress, and communicating their truth, that we get to be the beneficiaries of, and certainly Wandavision, written by whoever’s writing it, is a beneficiary of like, we are that.

Imara Jones: That’s right, and how like, she does what she wants. It’s independent of what this man in her life is telling her. You understand what I mean? Like, she creates, she created children when she was wanting to create children, right? Like she’s done these things, whenever she wants them and how she wants them. It’s not being dictated to her. 

Tourmaline: Exactly. 

Imara Jones: Or dictated by like the binary, she doesn’t actually operate within the binary.

Tourmaline: I love it. I love all of it.

Imara Jones: Yeah, yeah, I’m totally, I’m obsessed with this show. Like I, I’ll dream about it two or three times a week. It’s crazy. 

Tourmaline: I love that. I love that. It’s so powerful and compelling when people are creating their reality based off of the dream of what they want, when they’re doing that, kind of lining up with their desire. And the world is shaping around them. There’s no difference between that and Seneca Village, you know what I mean, like, yeah, so many things had to be going right for that to happen. It’s like Westview is, Westview New Jersey is like a kind of white version of Seneca Village and Black trans people. So you know, you said it perfectly.

Imara Jones: That’s exactly right. All right. Well, thank you so much. I appreciate that delicious, like dive into Wandavision.

Tourmaline: Thank you. This was such an amazing conversation.

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TransLash tells trans stories to save trans lives. As a trusted source for journalists, thought-leaders, movement activists, researchers, and those wanting to know about trans people, we produce narratives about and for the trans community—accurately and reliably. At a time when disinformation about trans people is being used to undermine democracy and human rights, TransLash Media serves as a beacon of hope through the voices that we share with the world.



TransLash tells trans stories to save trans lives. As a trusted source for journalists, thought-leaders, movement activists, researchers, and those wanting to know about trans people, we produce narratives about and for the trans community—accurately and reliably. At a time when disinformation about trans people is being used to undermine democracy and human rights, TransLash Media serves as a beacon of hope through the voices that we share with the world.


Coming Soon

The Glow UP

At TransLash, change is constant. We embrace our own process of collective transformation, and we honor every step of the journey. We’re getting ready to celebrate a pivotal point in our story, and we’re inviting you to be a part of it! 

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We’ve been working behind the scenes to launch a new brand for TransLash—one that honors our roots, reflects our growth, and leaves room for what’s to come. Over the next few months, you’ll notice fresh visuals and content as we bring our “glow up” to life across our digital channels. This summer, we’ll celebrate the culmination of that work: our brand new website! We’re building a new home for the journalism you love and trust, grounded in our deep commitment to the trans community.

We’re stepping into our own transition, and we want to share it with you. Join us!

Be the first to know when we launch the new site!


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