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Transgender Day of Liberation to be celebrated on April 9

April 04, 2012

Jill Ouikahilo
(315) 443-8568

Syracuse University’s LGBT Resource Center within the Division of Student Affairs hosts Ryka Aoki, writer, performer and educator, for its Transgender Day of Liberation event on April 9 at 7 p.m. in the Watson Theater in the Menschel Media Center. The event is co-sponsored by A-Line and the Office of Multicultural Affairs, in connection to American Pacific Heritage Month. It is free and open to the public, followed by a reception and book signing of her new book, “Seasonal Velocities” (Trans-Genre Press).

rykaIn the past, the LGBT Resource Center has put together a number of events to celebrate Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is celebrated internationally on Nov. 20. However, the Resource Center made a decision to change its recognition for this year and future years.

“The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to gender violence directed at those who identify as transgender,” says Chase Catalano, director of the LGBT Resource Center. “Our goal is to honor those who have been lost to us, to acknowledge the violence and loss of people in the trans communities, and refocus on ideas of hope and liberation. We are not a community that should be thought about solely because of the violence we endure, but for the spirit of activism, possibilities and enduring strength. So, the LGBT Resource Center created a new event: Trans Day of Liberation.”

Aoki will discuss the importance of individual and local community relationships to overarching socio-political alliances. She will also share a few stories and poems from her new book. Her poetry appears in the 2011 edition of “Many Mountains Moving” and “Hummingbird Review,” and she has also been featured at the National Queer Arts Festival, the National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival, Ladyfest South 2007, Atlanta Pride, UCLA's OutCRY and Fresh Meat.

Her chapbook, “Sometimes Too Hot the Eye of Heaven Shines” (Inconvenient Press), won the 2010 Eli Coppola Chapbook Contest, and she is the recipient of a University Award from the Academy of American Poets. The California State Senate honored Aoki for creating Trans/Giving, LA’s only art/performance series dedicated to trans, genderqueer and intersex artists. She appears in the recent trans documentaries “Diagnosing Difference” and “Riot Acts” as well as the Anthology “Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation” (Seal Press, 2010).

Aoki is a professor of English at Santa Monica College and received her master’s of fine arts in creative writing from Cornell University.

For more information, contact the LGBT Resource Center at lgbt@syr.edu or 315-443-3983.

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