Trans rights are human rights.
Though I live in New York City today, my heart remains in Houston.
As the sibling to two transgender sisters, a member of the LGBTQ+ community myself, and as a human being with even a modicum of respect for the lives of other people, the March 2022 comments by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton struck close to home. Not because they were unique (they've been LGBTQ-phobes forever), but because they rang out as a reminder that no matter how much activism we participate in, the fight is, unfortunately, ongoing. And this time, they were targeting kids.
Initially, the special edition issue was to be called "Love Letter to Trans Texans". Conservative politics being what they are, we instead asked for trans and gender expansive voices from across the South - not just Texas - as a means of creatively bucking the Republican leadership of each state across the region that was considering anti-trans legislation this session. We renamed the issue "True Grit[s]", a play on words highlighting both Southern culture and the multitudes of power that exist in the community.
And what beautiful words we received in return.
From powerful personal testimony to striking poetry, voices either living in the South or originally from the South sent in their writing which we are simply honored to host and uplift.
We want to thank everyone who responded to our call. As native Texans ourselves, we say with all the love in our hearts: Your unique voice belongs, both on our digital pages and in the beautiful Southern U.S. No second-rate politician gerrymandered and voter suppressed into office gets to say otherwise.
Lastly, Hearth & Coffin has set up a monthly recurring donation to the Transgender Education Network of Texas. We strongly encourage anyone with a few extra dollars to do the same, at whatever denomination is financially comfy for you. Other organizations around Texas that we suggest readers look into include:
And many more.
All my love,
Featured authors and poets for Special Edition: True Grit[s]
Take This Body, Which Was Broken For Me | Juniper Cassaway
Hohn Jancock | Juniper Cassaway
Getting Wet | Juniper Cassaway
Getting In Line | Juniper Cassaway
Getting It | Juniper Cassaway
[untitled] | Juniper Cassaway
Blizzard in the South | Mari Cruz
Phalaenopsis & Velvet under glass | Clem Flowers
Thirty Years Afraid | Andi Janow
Aging Photographs of Trinity Mills Road and the Queer Logic of Uprooting Trees | The Maenad
A self portrait as Salvador Dali’s melted clocks | Lucy Parr
Pinky Swear | Lucy Parr
[untitled] | Nicole Sebesta