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Love Wins: Travel Style Company Unveils Black LGBTQ Beach Towel

By Clare Mulroy

This article was first published January 9, 2021 in Tagg Magazine here.

Kinyatta Gray, founder of FlightsInStilettos, has a vision for the future of travel — accessories that look and feel representative of her customers.

Her latest endeavor is the first ever LGBTQ beach towel that features a Black lesbian couple. Gray released the latest design, the “Love Wins” beach towel, as part of her 2021 Glam Girl Beach Towels collection. The “Love Wins” towel features a Black queer couple holding hands on the beach.

“You don’t see a lot of these images on beach towels at all, and then to drill down even deeper, you definitely don’t see a lot of images of people of color,” says Gray. “Go even deeper, [images of] Black lesbians…it does not exist.”

The design is inspired by Gray and her wife, who got married in 2017. Gray’s motivation was to create a towel that featured images of a lesbian couple, opposed to the typical pride colors or designs. The microfiber beach towel is also in response to the lack of images of people of color in travel accessories.

Since the release of the “Love Wins” towel, Gray says she is impressed by the outpouring of support from the community. Women who have similar hair or tattoos see themselves in the images represented in the new beach towels. The entire 2021 Glam Girl Collection features women of different races and body types sporting unique beach outfits.

“I’m very confident that it may really be one of the first beach towels that has that kind of image on it,” she says. “It’s almost shocking, and it’s surprising. [Customers] are like, ‘Gosh, someone is thinking about us.’” According to Gray, she even submitted the towel to the Guiness Book of World Records to confirm the “Love Wins” towel as the first ever Black LGBTQ beach towel.

Not only does Gray incorporate representation in the images of women, she also tries to weave it throughout her entire business. FlightsInStiletto originally started as a travel blog but quickly turned into a brand once Gray realized that she didn’t see a lot of accessories that represented her or reflected her personal style.

She began designing products in mid 2018. Now in 2020, FlightsInStilettos has appeared in New York Fashion Week and has a growing presence online. Between customizable luggage sets and the “Traveling Tiaras” children’s travel accessories with images of young jet-setting girls of color, Gray’s mission is to incorporate representation of her customer base and her own travel style.

Ultimately, Gray believes there is an opportunity for the entire fashion and travel industry to step up and increase representation.

“I think there are a lot of organizations that are really stepping up to the forefront. [We need] to see advertising, and clothing and all kinds of travel destinations that really speak to you and let you know, ‘Hey, you are welcome,’” says Gray. “It’s something that we’re seeing more and more, but we can always do better.”

OML’s New Series Dating ‘In’ Place Explores Romance in the Age of Covid

By Clare Mulroy

This article was first published November 20, 2020 in Tagg Magazine here.

While many film and TV productions are halting due to the coronavirus pandemic, OML’s Dating ‘In’ Place incorporates the pandemic into the central storyline. The 10-episode comedy series, which debuted on Revry on November 1, follows two women exploring long-distance dating as the coronavirus pandemic turns their worlds upside down.

Dating ‘In’ Place was created by actress and producer Shantell “Yaz” Abeydeera and Marina Rice Bader. The cast and crew filmed and produced the entire series remotely, with meetings and rehearsal done over Zoom and filming done individually on HD smartphone cameras.

According to Abeydeera, the process was challenging as both an actor and producer. Post-production file transfers sometimes had to be done standing in the street with masks on, passing drives back and forth.

“As the actor, we had to do everything: setting up the lighting, the audio, all that kind of stuff,” Abeydeera says. “Some of the shots took almost two hours to set up and then the other actor would call in…and you would act for seven minutes.”

Still, the payoff was big. Abeydeera had never even been in the same room as her co-star, Emily Goss, when the two played characters falling in love. Despite the physical distance and virtual acting, Abeydeera says that she loves the energy the cast created and the chemistry they were able to find.

The content creator says she is grateful for the chance to get to tell queer stories during such an unprecedented time. The reason for making it a comedy and love story was simple — to show how connection was possible amid seemingly impossible circumstances.

“At the beginning of the pandemic I felt like everyone was really scared and everyone was spending an exorbitant amount of time online,” Abeydeera says. “What I saw was that people really needed a distraction…something else that they can hold onto that felt positive within the negative.”

Writing the series amid a pandemic also gave Abeydeera a chance to reflect on her own life. She knows living with her wife in Los Angeles means that they have the privilege of walking down the street holding hands without fear of harassment. Others don’t have the same opportunity.

“I understand that there are people all over the world that go to digital platforms to find content like this, to find answers,” she says. “And also so that they don’t feel alone.”

Queer representation is “everything” she says, but being able to tell those stories on a platform like Revry, which is ad supported by companies that support the LGBTQ community is equally important.

Abeydeera also serves as director of content and partnerships at OML, which provides free, accessible LGBTQ content to 186 different countries worldwide. According to OML’s website, its mission is to aggregate quality LGBTQ content in one place for the community to find and enjoy.

“This is specifically what I want to be doing,” she says. “I want to be making queer content and I want to be serving my community and making the stuff that I didn’t get to see when I was younger.”

LGBTQ History: Compton Cafeteria Riots

By Kelly McDonnell 

This article was first published October 20, 2020 in Tagg Magazine here.

Three years before the Stonewall Riots, transgender activists fought police brutality in San Francisco.

In San Francisco, 1966, transwomen resisted police intimidation and brutality outside of a popular LGBTQ gathering spot and all-night diner.

Gene Compton’s restaurant chain was a popular spot for transgender women, who had been denied entry to gay bars, to hang out, but management frequently called police on transgender patrons. Police arrested transwomen for the crime “female impersonation” because cross-dressing was illegal.

Transgender and gay people picketed police injustice and the restaurant’s management outside of Compton’s Cafeteria. Police arrived and attempted to arrest protesters, then one transwoman threw coffee at the police. A multi-day riot began, though it’s unclear for how long or how intense the protests were since police records of the year no longer exist, and the event wasn’t covered by newspapers.

A plaque at the former Compton’s Cafeteria site says, “Here marks the site of Gene Compton’s Cafeteria where a riot took place one August night when transgender women and gay men stood up for their rights and fought against police brutality, poverty, oppression and discrimination.”

Many people involved in the riot were part of the first American gay youth organization, Vanguard, founded in 1965. Vanguard and the Glide Memorial United Methodist Church organized multiple equal rights protests against businesses that refused to serve LGBTQ people.

Documentary filmmakers Susan Stryker and Victor Silverman interviewed riot survivors and local transwomen of the San Francisco Tenderloin District for her 2005 film, Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria.

Comedy series Rebecca and Becca in Space addresses isolation in the age of covid

By Julian Oquendo

This article was first published May 22, 2020 in DC Theatre Scene here.

In the early days of regional stay-at-home orders, theatre artists Rebecca Ballinger and Rebecca Wahls were not ones to waste any time. They secured the equipment they would need: some quick decorations and the FaceTime app on their phones, and produced a series of very funny shorts.

A few weeks later, their 9 episode mini-series, Rebecca and Becca in Space, is available on YouTube for a quick binge (most episodes are under 5 minutes), another example of how local artists continue to produce work during the crisis.

The web series, set in 2033, features two astronauts stranded in space after the government pulls the plug on their research program. With no means of returning to Earth and isolated on their respective space stations, they do what any resilient astronauts would do: they live-steam their games of truth or dare.

“My favorite joke is when Rebecca’s character thinks everybody can shove their fist in their mouths,” Ballinger says during an interview with DC Theatre Scene, “and realizes it’s not true.”

“Watch till the end of the credits,” Wahls adds.

The script, written by both Ballinger and Wahls, started in 2019 and revisited this year, began from a simple premise.

“We wrote a number of sketches,” Wahls says. “Then we did a brainstorm exercise where we wrote a list of everything  we wanted to be when we grew up. And we both had ‘ASTRONAUT’ at the top of our list.”

The series is one of a number of projects funded by George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Mason Arts At Home. Their program has been offering a series of live-streamed and recorded performances since early April.

For Ballinger and Wahls, the importance of producing the series helped add a much needed routine to their new normal.

“Honestly, those two hours really helped because we started filming this, like right when everything was shutting down and the stress was super high,” Ballinger says. “I could go sit on the floor of my closet [and film] for two hours every night. It really helped ground me in the normal of rehearsing and there was a structure.”

Ballinger and Wahls also hosted a live Q & A session, in character, after their show premiered. Ballinger recounts one of the submitted questions relating on how to deal with isolation in space.

“The most important lesson I have learned in space… It can be really hard to be by yourself all the time,” Wahls answered during the livestream, “If you can create ways to connect with other people, that can make all the difference. Even if you feel alone, you’re not alone.”

The series ends on a positive note, their “Christmas Special” (spoilers) suggesting a return home for the astronauts.

“When we were talking about this, before the pandemic happened, we were [considering] if at the end of this season we find out that we’re stuck forever? And then the next season, we’re like really dealing with an existential crisis,” Ballinger shares.

“We ended up knowing people didn’t want that right now. People want help. And so that’s why we wrote a Christmas special to wrap up the season, just to kind of give a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel to these characters.”

Rebecca Wahls is currently pursuing her MFA in directing at Carnegie Mellon University. Rebecca Ballinger remains in the DC area, and looks forward to her next performance with Monumental Theatre.

DUPONT CIRCLE GALLERY showcases Abstract works + recycled materials

A gallery hallway featuring mixed media paintings and sculptures.

By Athena Naylor

This article was first published January 23, 2020 in The DC Line here.

Two exhibits on display this month at Dupont Circle’s Studio Gallery respond imaginatively to environmental themes, but the featured artists do so through wildly different approaches to aesthetic and ecological concerns.

The Jan. 3 receptions for Lois Kampinsky’s solo show On the Nature of Things and the group exhibition ReClaimed ReUsed RePurposed: Sustainable Art for the Planet were part of the new year’s inaugural First Friday Dupont event, a self-guided art walk around greater Dupont Circle that features stops at several galleries in the neighborhood. A closing reception is set for Saturday afternoon.

Titled after the only known work of the Roman poet Lucretius, On the Nature of Things posits that the natural world has been well-documented already but that, as Kampinsky says in her artist statement, “maybe it’s time to take a playful look, while [the natural world is] still here.” This sense of fun (though seemingly in the face of distress) manifests itself in the vibrant patterns in her paintings from the past few years, which comprise the majority of the exhibit.

Kampinsky’s strengths as an artist shine most in her abstract work. In her “Winglike” series of six 24-inch-by-19-inch gouache paintings, Kampinsky creates compositions that, though inspired by wings, ultimately read as non-representational. Interwoven streaks of color along with triangular shapes could just as easily remind viewers of plants, fish or geological forms. The natural world appears as a stepping-off point for Kampinsky’s more conspicuous artistic preoccupation, the visual relationships between shape and color.

Perhaps this is why her more literal portraits of animals do not feel quite as alive as her abstract paintings. In the large painting “Rabbit,” the flat profile of the titular animal is presented with little personality. The white and faint pale blues of the rabbit’s fur against the painting’s orange, twig-like background do not appeal as much as a color study as Kampinsky’s busier compositions. It is telling that the most visually interesting aspect of another large representational painting, “Bird on Nest,” is, in fact, the nest painted in abstract, tangled streaks of yellows, purples and greens. 

Representational subjects function best in Kampinsky’s paintings when animals are presented in large groups, like in her “Jungle Birds” series, where clusters of colorful birds fill up canvases and create a visual pattern. A similar effect occurs in the large canvas “Purple Flowers,” in which a cluster of flowers crowds the composition and appears almost alien nestled in an indistinct dark, moody atmosphere. Kampinsky’s large painting “Bugs” circles back to her self-proclaimed penchant for playfulness with a composition that situates the viewer at ground level among a tangle of vegetation rendered in neon colors and angular shapes. The titular animals peek out from the shadows, rendered in a nearly cartoonish way that leaves their classification uncertain — truly they can only be specified as “bugs.”

Kampinsky’s paintings display the artist’s love of nature in a traditional manner, with the natural world providing a springboard for aesthetic exploration in the familiar medium of painting. This is not the case in the lower level of Studio Gallery, where the production process of pieces included in ReClaimed ReUsed RePurposed more directly engages environmental concerns of sustainability.

As indicated by the title, the artworks in ReClaimed ReUsed RePurposed all explore, to varying degrees, the idea of recycling materials. While Kampinsky introduces playfulness in her paintings through color and shape, the artworks downstairs spark delight in both their aesthetic appeal and their use of unpredictable materials. 

One of the first pieces viewers encounter in the basement gallery is Gloria Chapa’s sculpture “CASCARAS (One of 5 Baptismal Fonts)” from 2019. Perched on a twisted base of vines, a large basin seems to shine orange under the gallery lights. With a closer look, one realizes what is contributing to the piece’s translucent glow: The basin is made entirely of onion skins held together by resin. As an inventive reimagination of a commonly overlooked material, Chapa’s installation excels.

Other striking pieces include Erwin Timmers’ contribution “Site Map 2.0,” constructed in 2019 from recycled glass along with reclaimed wood and steel. Timmers casts common detritus like bottle caps, soda cans and foam peanuts into gridded patterns within square glass molds. These glass panels protrude from the wall on steel rods connected to a black, backlit circular mount whose rim illustrates the jagged edge of a continuous skyline. The resulting aesthetic is sleek and urban. Through his artwork, Timmers examines how society consumes and discards resources, prompting the viewer to consider not only the end product of the artwork but its origin and process.

Other artists repurpose industrial materials as well. Sculptor Liz Lescault’s small steel pieces use recycled metal to create intuitive, biomorphic forms. Pat Goslee — who, like Kampinsky, primarily paints — creates her compositions on found objects, mainly discarded tabletops. The results are circular artworks — tondo paintings, to be specific — made of threads of color that feel like anxious vortexes. These entropic compositions reflect the artist’s view of her work as a chance to portray emotion, particularly of worry surrounding environmental distress and disaster. 

The pieces of Julia Bloom bring the exhibit back to the realm of natural materials with stick towers inspired by the architecture of nests and thickets and scaffolding. While these free-standing sculptures reference nature through their materials, they are ultimately transformed into something new through the addition of bright primary colors.

Paper artist Jessica Beels, acknowledging that art itself can generate waste, creates collages from the leftover scraps of her past projects. In her compositions, she repurposes paper fragments and creates new handmade paper using discarded denim and other found materials like junk mail, invasive plants and even plastic bags, again calling attention to consumption and the potential of what’s often overlooked or discarded.

If there is one outlier in ReUsed ReClaimed RePurposed, it would be Robin Bell, whose pieces fill the back room of the basement gallery. A video artist known for his site-specific projections installed around DC, Bell takes a more conceptual approach to the question of reuse. (You may remember that Bell was in the news last March when his collaborator was arrested while setting up an installation at the Rayburn House Office Building.)

In effect, Bell recycles his old work. His pieces at Studio Gallery either incorporate elements from earlier installations or are previously created works presented exactly as they were when first made in order to examine how differing temporal and spatial contexts may affect an artwork’s reception and meaning. 

Bell’s contribution to the exhibit stands out because it relies on video components whereas the works by other artists are more concerned with tangible materials. His installations also noticeably push environmental and political anxiety to the forefront.

The year 2020 has already witnessed increasing levels of environmental catastrophe — from the ongoing Australian wildfires to the recent earthquake in Puerto Rico — and the world will continue to face the dangers of rising global temperatures and augmented natural disasters. The fanciful paintings of Kampinsky and the inventive installations in ReClaimed ReUsed RePurposed touch on these concerns, but often relegate the sense of dread surrounding environmental issues to the periphery in works that initially present as aesthetically appealing and fun. In contrast, a work like Bell’s “Death comes from the top, resistance comes from the bottom,” dated 2019/2020, forces viewers to confront current circumstances and, literally, themselves. 

In “Death comes from the top,” the viewer stands in front of a full-length mirror over which hangs a small TV screen. The monitor plays a looped video in which the camera zooms out to reveal a kitschy metallic skull wearing a red cap with the phrase “THIS IS NOT NORMAL” stitched to the front. The politically charged message paired with the skull comprises a contemporary memento mori easily applicable to current environmental circumstances. The inclusion of a mirror that makes viewers face themselves then provokes the question of what we can and should do in these atypical times. The question can expand to encompass the entire gallery: During alarming times, in what ways may artists react or resist?

THE 29Rooms festival Features interactive Art and Social Media opportunity

By Julian Oquendo

This article was first published in The DC Line here.

Whether it’s a social scene to get to know a stranger, or a space for internal reflection, 29Rooms: Expand Your Realityoffers just the right backdrop. This inspired, eclectic and culturally conscious festival — featuring interactive workshops, installations, performances and more — invites guests to engage with the work of approximately a dozen female artists from DC and across the nation. 

The DC Armory in Southeast is hosting the touring festival — which opened Friday and features multiple art stations, or “rooms” of Instagram-worthy installations — through Sunday, Oct. 27. With some minor variation to the art installations, the tour highlights local artists for some of its pieces.

Refinery29, the digital media company behind this event, has an audience of young women in mind, but the event offers a celebratory environment likely to appeal to anyone who enjoys a curated selfie. 

This is the first year the festival is making a stop in the District, having made its previous appearances in Los Angeles and New York. Since the event’s launch in 2015, reviews have focused on the social messages behind the art, and, of course, its photogenic appeal. Organizers encourage guests to pull out their phones and share pictures of themselves engaging with the art on social media. Each room’s introductory placard provides a brief description of the installation, along with a number of suggested Instagram hashtags to promote the work. 

And each room offers a slightly different message or theme. 

“Some of our rooms have very simple prompts … asking for [the] audience to engage [in order] to power the room and bring them to life,” says Olivia-Jene Fagon, who oversees 29Rooms as creative director of events and experiential at Refinery29.

In one of the rooms — centered around A Conversation With Your Inner Child byBarcelona-based movement artist Carlota Guerrero — attendees are asked to write out messages to their inner child on pink Post-It notes that line the walls. In the middle of the room is Guerrero’s statue of an adult reaching out to a child. 

Another set of rooms forces strangers to interact. A Blind Date With Destiny requires exhibitgoers to sit across from one another with a wall between them, leaving only the other person’s hands visible; after receiving a quick tutorial, the participants are asked to perform amateur palm readings. On the opposite side of the Armory, the room 29 Questions features prompt cards that help guests get to know each other.  

Most rooms try to share a powerful social message. A Long Line of Queendom is a monument and tribute to the experience of black women, both as individuals and as a group. Messages such as “Say her name” and “My hair ain’t up for debate” are written on the walls of the room. A golden carpet leads up to an altar. 

Of course, the biggest draw for some attendees is the “Instagram-able” feel of the festival. A room called No Filter plays with light to enable you to “experience creative lighting methods … to see yourself,” making it an excellent and easily transformed space for taking a selfie.

Other rooms, such as those set up by 29Rooms corporate partners, are really just promoting a brand. Prudential Financial, for example, put together an “escape room” activity that prompts a group to complete challenges and build toward financial wellness. The ACLU, the event’s nonprofit partner, has a “Values Stand that resembles a New York City bodega and promotes the American values and rights the organization protects. 

The rooms that were curated by individual artists will likely be the biggest draw for local patrons, and deservedly so. Trap Bob — a DC-based visual artist, illustrator and animator as well as creative director for the women-centric collective GIRLAAA — designed the images for a staircase installation, one of a number of contributed pieces for The Art Park in this year’s festival. 

Installation-based artist Yvette Mayorga, another contributor to The Art Park, presents a playful work with a subversive, solemn message that highlights issues of immigration. Using a cake frosting-like material, child-like coloring, industrial materials and the American board game Candy Land, Mayorga has created a conceptual framework that juxtaposes the border areas of the U.S. and Mexico. This piece travels along with the rest of the tour. 

“It was a great opportunity to think about my paintings in a 3D form across the country,” Chicago-based Mayorga says. “That’s super exciting to me — to have elements that have become synonymous in my work come to life and travel across the country.” 

The chance to reach audiences across the country is also part of the excitement for Trap Bob.

“[Refinery29] really allowed me to experiment,” she said. “I was able to brand the staircase with my designs and have this message that would go to all these different places and resonate with so many people.”

Trap Bob also notes that she has seen how social media has contributed to her installation’s value. “It’s amazing that people are not only taking pictures but [also] relating to the theme. I’ve had people with these captions and tagging me and stuff. … I feel like I just got to know hundreds of thousands of people over the past couple of months.”

Unsettled: The Journey of Cheyenne and Mari

Written by Hannah Berk

This article was first published in Tagg Magazine here.

Cheyenne Adriano and Mari N’Timansieme were looking for a place where they could be themselves, and still be safe. That simple demand has led them on a journey that has bounced them back and forth across borders and entangled them in immigration bureaucracy for seven years and counting.

Gender-nonconforming from a young age, Mari grew up facing a barrage of abuse in Luanda, Angola. “I’m a target right away,” she says. “I don’t even have to open my mouth, they can just look at me…I couldn’t even leave my house without knowing I could be attacked.” In their time living together, Cheyenne and Mari never felt safe in their home. Neighbors cut their power and killed their dog; police joined in the swarm of street harassment that rose to meet them. The final straw came when one neighbor devoted himself to stalking the couple at all hours, threatening to burn their house down in the night. After years of dodging and withstanding attacks, they knew better than to disregard a threat against their lives.

When the couple first decided to leave Luanda in 2012, homosexual conduct was still criminalized under the country’s colonial penal code. Legal discrimination meant that Cheyenne and Mari bore abuse from family, neighbors, and strangers alike with no institutional support to turn to.

Cheyenne and Mari planned to build a life together in Cape Town. The only country on the continent to legalize same-sex marriage and home to significant anti-discrimination legislation, South Africa is a common destination for African LGBTQ asylum seekers. However, Cheyenne and Mari didn’t find the support they anticipated. The government had shut down Cape Town’s Refugee Reception Office shortly before their arrival, leaving asylum seekers to travel long distances to submit their applications. Unauthorized to work, living in a shelter, and with no discernible progress toward legal status, the couple returned to Luanda after two years and began planning their journey toward a new destination: the United States.

Arriving on student visas, the couple began a long immigration process they are still undergoing. It took them about six months just to get a hearing, another six months to get a work permit. While they waited, they struggled to stay afloat in San Francisco, consistently ranked the most expensive city to live in the U.S., and the one with the country’s widest wealth gap. But navigating the legal system took more than a financial toll. “The bureaucracy of seeking asylum is psychologically challenging,” Mari says. “You go to bed thinking, what if I have to go back? What’s my plan B?”

While heralded as a progressive hub and LGBTQ haven, San Francisco had its ups and downs for Cheyenne and Mari. They found that community didn’t come easy. “In our culture,” Mari explains, “it’s so easy to make friends. In the U.S., it’s different. People are so into that routine of exchange. They will network with you because they want something from you.” They’ve faced extra challenges as a result of their intersecting identities. “In our LGBT community,” Mari says, “there’s still racism, and there’s still xenophobia. We have been discriminated against for being Black, a foreigner. You’ll go to a job interview and when they realize you have an accent, they’ll find a reason not to hire you.” But there have been bright spots, too. In 2015, the couple married, after years of waiting for the chance. They have relocated to Las Vegas, where they work in the tech industry and are recording new songs; Cheyenne writes and sings under her artist name, KingCyborg, while Mari produces the music. And while they still hear comments in the streets, they felt more comfortable being themselves in public. “Whatever else,” says Mari, “that’s freedom.”

Cheyenne and Mari’s story, alongside those of Subhi Nahas from Syria and Junior Mayema from the Democratic Republic of Congo, is featured in the new documentary “Unsettled” from director Tom Shepard. The film follows the four asylum seekers and refugees as they arrive in San Francisco and work to build new lives. Cheyenne hopes the documentary will help audiences understand why people come to the U.S. to seek refuge, the great contributions they bring with them, and what they have to go through once they get here. “We want people to see what the immigration, the asylum process is really like,” she says. Screenings are scheduled across the country and internationally.

In January, the Angolan parliament voted to adopt a new penal code for the first time since the country gained independence in 1975. This code abandons the anti-LGBT provision, and bans discrimation based on sexual orientation. Carlos Fernandes, director of Iris Angola Association (Associação Íris Angola), says that it remains to be seen how it will be put into practice.

The first and only LGBTQ rights organization to be officially registered with the Angolan government, Iris Angola works in the areas of health, LGBTQ support and empowerment, and community education. Part of the problem, Fernandes says, is that “many people in this area don’t know what it is to be LGBT.” Even when knowledge is higher, people may be more tolerant in public, but “everything changes when you are at home. We face various problems as a result of the family. They are the first to discriminate against LGBT people in Angola.”

Mari describes the legislation as “definite progress.” “Right now,” she says, “LGBT people know there is a community where they can go for guidance and support…but it’s still not going to change society’s mindset. It takes decades—maybe centuries—to do that.”