FORT will be a queer creative space in east London, for and by trans people
BY KRYSTA MCKENZIE, IMAGE BY @QUEERGARDEN ON INSTAGRAM
The UK has been becoming a more difficult place to be trans in recent times, and there has long been a need for a physical place that trans people can feel safe. Of course, trans people themselves know best how to create such a space, and this need is finally being fulfilled.
Jamie Boy King is a London-based tattoo artist and Creative Director, and he conceived the idea to build a multi-practise, non-profit, sober queer space in east London called FORT. As the FORT website states, “A fort is a protected space of rest and nourishment. We cannot grow, heal and create in the middle of battle. We need room. We need safety. We need each other.” In a society where trans people are never given a chance to rest because of the constant pressure to perform gender in a way that makes cisgender people feel comfortable, FORT is an essential space.
In order to build this queer creative space, FORT is raising £20,000 – and they have made a naked calendar to fund it. This calendar was made by an all trans creative production team, and featured a cast of 58 trans people. It celebrates trans existence and the beauty of trans bodies, as well as embracing the subversive way in which trans people live, and the openness and vulnerability it takes to challenge the rules of our oppressors.
FORT currently has a pay it forward initiative which allows cisgender allies and people who are financially able to buy a calendar for trans people who cannot afford it.
The esteemed graphic designer Aries Moross modelled for the calendar, and commented that “We need moments like this to show us that trans and non-binary bodies are desirable, and I don’t mean to others – I mean desirable to ourselves. That we can desire ourselves and love ourselves, because we are taught not to.”
To support the creation of FORT, buy your naked calendar here.
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