No quote can summarize activist, sex worker, performer, and politician Jamie Lee Hamilton more elegantly than this excerpt from The Walrus profile of her: “She became a Native Princess, a Ms. Gay Vancouver, and, inevitably, an honorary member of the travelling cast of A Chorus Line.” For over three decades she pushed for Canadian laws targeting sex workers to be overturned using a mixture of dramatic tactics and community building; she even became Canada’s first trans person to run for public office and nearly won a seat. She also sits on the board of directors for the Greater Vancouver Native Cultural Society, an aboriginal advocacy group.
Multimedia talent Apaulo Hart has dabbled in everything from stone masonry to logo designs. As depicted above, his training extends to feats of burlesque aerial acrobatics on the Spanish web, which he integrates into performance art on thought-provoking topics such as religious deconversion and cabaret acts reimagined as queer. He has also been an active member of the San Francisco kink and sex work scenes; he has appeared in films with Courtney Trouble and James Darling, and creates leather fetish gear both on his own and for local company Mr. S Leather. At the time of this posting he is an apprentice at Modern Electric Studio, a tattoo parlor with a distinctive style drawn from its artists’ backgrounds as painters. He views art as his legacy, and advises up-and-comers to “Go with your passion. There is no reason not to in this day and age. We are very lucky!”
When asked how he identifies, Hart had this to say: “I’m more of an animal than anything. I want to create something original at this point.” (But, as he clarified, ‘transgender’, ‘genderqueer’, and ‘trans man’ are all fine for everyday use.)
Doing it Ourselves: The Trans Women Porn Project was the brainchild that put porn actress and transgender activist Tobi Hill-Meyer on the map. Frustrated with the lack of porn created from the perspective of (and intended for) trans women, she went on to win Feminist Porn Awards and found her own production company. Outside of her erotic work, Hill-Meyer blogs on queer and feminist website The Bilerico Project and speaks at conferences about her pansexual and transgender identities. She has previously worked at COLAGE, an organization for children of one or more queer parents – fitting, seeing as her mothers are lesbians.