Today’s Dame of the Day is Isis King (October 1, 1985-). King competed in New York City’s underground ball circuit before gaining attention on the eleventh and seventeenth cycles of America’s Next Top Model. King became the first trans woman to model for American Apparel and has appeared in Out, Swerv, and Seventeen Magazine.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Lea T (April 19, 1981-). This Brazilian-born model grew up in Italy and later landed a campaign as the face of Redken hair products, making her the first trans woman to lead a major cosmetics campaign. In addition to her modeling career, Lea also advocates for the LGBT community in Italy and worldwide. Forbes Magazine included Lea on a list of 12 Italian women changing the face of the country’s fashion community.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Leslie Feinberg (September 1, 1941-November 15, 2014). As an author and activist, Feinberg championed the rights of lesbians and trans women through hir seminal work, Stone Butch Blues. Through hir writings and active demonstrations, ze fought against groups with a narrow definition of womanhood to earn trans women a rightful voice in the conversation. Sadly, Feinberg passed away in 2014 due to complications from Lyme Disease.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Julie Mehretu (1970-). Looking at one of Mehretu’s paintings can take hours; with her intricate, multi-layered, approach, she packs each canvas with dense imagery. Mixing pen, pencil, ink and paint with architectural drawings and maps, Mehretu’s work blends geographic boundaries into a murky no-place. In 2005, she won a MacArthur Fellowship.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Etel Adnan (February 25-1925-). Adnan grew up in Lebanon but earned degrees at the Sorbonne in Paris and studied at UC-Berkeley and Harvard. After receiving her diplomas, she returned to Lebanon and became cultural editor of Al-Safa, a French language newspaper. During her tenure, she vastly expanded the cultural section, contributed critical editorials even penned comics. In her spare time, she composed a slew of novels and several books of poetry reflecting her lesbian identity. Adnan is considered one of the world’s most accomplished Arab-American artists.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Nobuko Yoshiya (January 12, 1896-July 11, 1973). Born at the end of the 19th century, Yoshiya became a pioneer novelist writing for adolescent girls and women. In particular, her Class S genre became some of the country’s first lesbian writing. Although she considered herself a feminist, her distrust of all government prevented her involvement in any official movements.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Sylvia Rivera (July 2, 1951-February 19, 2002). Along with Marsha P. Johnson, Rivera co-founded S.T.A.R (Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries). The organization hit close to home; as a bisexual trans woman, she was rejected by her family and ran away from home when she was 11 years old. Wanting to ensure trans people had a voice, she threw herself into the civil rights, gay rights and feminist movements.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Marsha P. Johnson (June 27, 1944-July 6, 1992). As a trans woman active in New York City’s drag community, she led protests against police during the Stonewall Riots. In addition to her political activism, she co-founded S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries), an organization which provided food and clothing to young trans people living on the Lower East Side. While Johnson’s untimely death following the 1992 Pride Parade was ruled a suicide, friends and family believe she was murdered; her case is still open.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Diane Marie Rodriguez Zambrano (March 16, 1982-). As a trans woman, Diana Rodríguez sued the Ecuadorian government and won, setting a new precedent that allows trans people to legally change their names. In 2013, Diana Rodríguez became the first trans person to run for office in Ecuador.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Brenda Fassie (November 3, 1964-May 9, 2004). Known as “The Queen of African Pop,” this South African chanteuse owned the charts throughout the 1990s. When she lay dying in the hospital, Nelson and Winnie Mandela and Thabo Mbeki visited her bedside. Check out “Vul’indela” to hear a snippet of her greatest.