For Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, art and poetry spring forth naturally from her passions.
“Stop erasing black trans women, LGBTQ people owe every right they have to the work of trans women of color,” the 35-year-old Baltimore native says. “Trans women are amazing and trans men are awesome. We must divest of white supremacy and anti-blackness.”
Edidi will explore these topics and more in a performance of her work “For Black Trans Girls Who Gotta Cuss a Motherfucker Out When Snatching an Edge Ain’t Enough: a Choreo Poem.” It’s Monday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Woolly Mammoth Theatre (641 D St., N.W.). It’s free and open to the public.
The reading will be followed by a discussion with Edidi led by Venus Di’Khadijah Selenite. Details at woollymammoth.net.
When Edidi first performed the piece, her friend Bob Schlehuber wanted to help her get it performed elsewhere, which led to the Woolly performance. Edidi works full time as a performance artist, author, playwright, choreographer, writer and advocate.
She came to Washington in 2001 for school. She has a partner, Percy, and enjoys watching Asian historical dramas in her free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
What is out really? I think a more accurate idea for me is when did I decide loving myself was more important than the internalized transphobia that was forced upon me and I would say for a while now.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
I have a lot — Marsha P Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Miss Major, Lucy Anderson Hicks, Mary Jones, Mary Waters, Josephine Baker, Sylvester, Jackie Shane, Andrea Jenkins, my Aunt Jimmy and the list goes on.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Chaos. It’s where I first met one of my mothers, Xavier Onassis Bloomingdale, and many of my family.
Describe your dream wedding.
Super simple. The guests in attendance would be my mom, one of my siblings, his sibling and a mutual friend. Now for a reception, I would love to throw a huge bash to celebrate with friends and family maybe a year after we saved our coins for that.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
There is no such thing. Black trans people exist at so many intersections. By virtue of advocating for the liberation of black trans people, I am advocating for the liberation of everybody.
What historical outcome would you change?
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Any one where black women are winning.
On what do you insist?
That if you’re white in my life you have to have an analysis, praxis and way of life that is steeped in the dismantling of white supremacy.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
A woman who said she would attend a lynching literally just won a senate seat in Mississippi. I said it once and I will say it again: racism is not a matter of opinion, it is violence. Racism was never about ignorance, it was always about power.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Get ready for dystopia. Wait, look who’s in the White House. Too late.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
In many things my ancestors did. I never had to wonder if their manifestations of God loved me or not.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Divest of white supremacy. Respectability will not save you.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
If I knew it would save the world.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
Not understanding the difference between gender and sexuality.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
It hasn’t been made yet.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Civility. You do not have to be nice, gentle or kind to your oppressor/abuser. Civility, the way it is framed, is just another word for abuser dynamics.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
I don’t think I covet any to be honest. Now, would it be nice to win one? Oh yes honey, but mostly if that translated into work and access for my community.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
That I could safely medically transition one day.
Because I have cultivated family here.