Barack Obama is screening two transgender-themed films in the White House.
The White House made the announcement as it revealed the ‘White House LGBT Artists Champions of Change’ – part of a programme recognising the achievements of activists on a range of issues.
The nine LGBT activists and artists who have made great achievements will be invited to an event at the White House on Monday (November 23).
As well as speeches, the event includes screenings of Eddie Redmayne’s trans drama ‘The Danish Girl’ and Amazon TV series ‘Transparent’.
Transparent, which won four Emmys and two Golden Globes, is returning to air next month – while the Danish Girl, featuring trans pioneer Lili Elbe, is touted as a potential Oscar-winner.
Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett and Secretary for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro will speak at the event.
Here’s an artist’s impression:
The Champions of Change listed by the White House are:
Marco Castro-Bojorquez is the Community Educator in Lambda Legal’s Western Regional Office in Los Angeles, California. Marco is responsible for the coordination and implementation of Lambda Legal’s various educational and advocacy efforts. He has produced and directed several short films and documentaries, including the award- winning documentary Tres Gotas de Agua (Three Drops of Water, 2013), a short film about Latina immigrant mothers and the impact of their children’s coming out process.
Fiona Dawson established TransMilitary to promote transgender equality through media that educates, entertains and inspires. The project intimately shares the lives of U.S. transgender military personnel who served under the threat of discharge. Having co-directed and produced the short opinion documentary Transgender, at War and in Love, commissioned by the New York Times, she is now working on the feature length version of the film.
Jess Dugan is an artist whose work explores issues of gender, sexuality, identity, and community. She has been photographing within LGBT communities for the past decade and is deeply committed to the transformative power of photographic portraiture. Her work is regularly exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of several major museums.
Lee Levingston Perine
Lee Levingston Perine is the Founder of Makers Lab in Washington, D.C. Through Makers Lab, Lee has built and supported queer communities by creating spaces that celebrate life, art, and queer culture. Since launching in August 2015, the Lab has produced and been a collaborator in the production of 35 cultural events in the region. The Lab recently received a grant for the Last Night Project, a story-collecting project that explores Black queer space in Washington, D.C.
Joanna Hoffman is a 12-year veteran of slam poetry. Her full-length book of poetry Running for Trap Doors was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award and featured in the American Library Association’s list of recommended LGBT reading for 2014. She has performed her one-woman poetry show, The Personal is Political: These Simple Truths, on topics of bullying, homophobia, racism and mental health, and conducted poetry workshops with youth across the country.
AJ King serves as the Founder of Breaking Ground. Formerly known as “Brother 2 Brother,” this program targets men and trans youth of color in Washington, D.C., to tell their life stories through musical theatre, and identify non-violent conflict resolution. The program began as a fellowship project and blossomed into a full program presented at the national HIV/AIDS conference, NAESM.
Pidgeon Pagonis, M.A., is an intersex activist. They are the former Communications & Operations Manager and Youth Leadership Coordinator for Inter/Act, an intersex youth project, at Advocates for Informed Choice–an organization that fights for the legal rights of intersex children and their families. Since 2006, they have made an effort to expand the visibility of issues related to the intersex community by facilitating workshops and presentations around the world.
LJ Roberts is a visual artist who creates large-scale knitted installations, detailed embroideries, screen prints and collages. Their work investigates overlaps of queer and trans politics, activism, protest, craft and the ongoing AIDS epidemic through an intersectional feminist lens. Among their upcoming projects are a collaboration with Visual AIDS to create a sex-positive woman-centered safer sex kit as part of the forthcoming show Agitprop! at The Brooklyn Museum .
Steven Romeo is the founder, executive director and primary artist for The Change Project based in Birmingham, AL. The Change Project is an arts and storytelling organization that seeks to transforming discrimination against all LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) people into acceptance through the art of photography, social media campaigns, educational resources and partnerships with social justice organizations. Steven’s first fine art installation is “Our Bodies. Our Lives,” which engages viewers to consider what LGBTQ people want to be called versus the labels that society places on them.
Watch a trailer for the Danish Girl below: