Transgender Day of Remembrance is November 20th. My good friend comedian and DJ Andy Iwancio / Kid Amiga was nice enough to talk to me about what TDoR means to her. Recently, Andy has been a one-women-army on the streets of Seattle keeping the conversation about Transgender Remembrance in the forefront.
Andy was hit hard by the murder of a Baltimore resident, Kandy Hall. “I’m a transgendered woman from Baltimore. [She] lived in my old neighborhood”, says Iwancio. Currently a Seattle resident, Andy wants to eventually return to Baltimore and, “…try to do something for the trans-community there.” Inspired to take action after a fellow comic did a string of performances using trans-women as the punchline, she took to the sidewalks. “I did a quiet protest by etching Kandy Hall’s name, in sidewalk chalk, all around the city, for the duration [of a] week.”
As a comic and popular DJ, Andy sees the need for a, “… larger conversation to be had about trans-women as punchlines in comedy and hip-hop … [T]he out- and-out violence against TWOC (trans women of color) is by far the thing that needs addressing most.”
Andy’s inspiring work wasn’t just about getting the word out. For her, the act of writing Kandy Hall’s name around the city was a form of healing. “I just did what I could with what I had in reach…” says Andy. “Whether folks saw it or not, the practice of kneeling down to write her name many times became it’s own symbolic gesture to me.”
For more information on Kandy Hall and to hear more voices on the topic, check out this great article from The Guardian.