By Mitch Kellaway
Originally published on Advocate.com June 26 2014 8:17 PM ET
Countless trans people, allies, and providers have asked themselves: How do I get conversations started about homelessness? About transphobia in the gay community? About suicide? About the successes, micro and macro, in trans lives?
This year, members of the Artivism Project, the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), and the Face of Trans*, among many other designers and activists, have been busy devising some visual responses.
Keep reading to see how these activists are using visual media to spark interpersonal conversation between various facets of the LGBT and straight communities.
"We get our information in front of the eyes of people who need to see it in a way that makes it impossible to ignore," trans graphic designer H. Amelia Smith told The Advocate.
She and her team at the Artivism Project have begun developing eye-catching infographics for pressing topics surrounding transgender issues, including homelessness, exclusion from military service, hate crimes, school safety, and Internet safety.
Smith encourages people to download her team's images — which generally see between 1,000 and 22,000 shares each on social media sites — and use them in their own outreach and canvassing, emphasizing the importance of crafting professional-looking, visually striking materials that can get people thinking in ways a soundbite might not.
"Make them something beautiful, something people would want to see anyway. and suddenly the wall that comes up when you are trying to get through to them [falls]."
Click through to the next page to see more infographics and information from the the AIDS Committee of Toronto and the Faces of Trans*.
AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT)
"Respresentation of trans* people is lacking in other arenas, so kudos to the community for making their own damn arena [on social media]!" says Rafay Agha, commnications coordinator for the AIDS Committee of Toronto.
ACT's most recent infographic, "10 Things Gay/Bi/Queer Trans Men Want Gay Cis Men to Know," went viral this month, according to Agha. The visual was developed in partnership with ACT's support group for trans men, launched after the group received funding specifically for developing trans-related programming.
Posted in both paper and online newsletters read by upwards of 10,000 people, Agha tells The Advocate that the infographic has also "taken on a life of its own on social media, especially Tumblr. Whenever we post anything related to trans men, the response is always staggering."
See what all the chatter is about below:
The Faces of Trans*
On the Faces of Trans* website, founder and creative director Elle Boatman explains that the project gives trans people "an opportunity to speak for themselves, in their own words" to help break down stereotypes.
The project also creates images of allies, who she says "are invaluable in our fight for equality and recognition," and help to provide a sense of community and support.
Boatman tells The Advocate that the project emerged from her own "difficult and lonely" experiences of transitioning in Wichita, Kan., where she feels the trans community is "mostly hidden and scattered." Developing a collection of informational art — one piece of which was even displayed on a local billboard — is her way of letting other trans people know they're not alone.
Meet some of the faces of Trans* Kansas below: