Stonewall Commemoration Week events in Asheville

IN LIVING COLOR: Mya Taylor, left, and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez star in the feature film ‘Tangerine,' which will be screened as part of Tranzmission’s Stonewall Commemoration Week. Other happenings include information sessions, a pool party and an adult prom. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

This year marks the 17th that local transgender advocacy, education and support organization Tranzmission has organized a Stonewall Commemoration Week. Eight days of events provide opportunities for connection, celebration and learning around the 1969 Stonewall riots — LGBT community demonstrations against a police raid of the Stonewall Inn in New York City that helped launch the gay liberation movement.

Proceeds from all events benefit Tranzmission, and donations to the organization are accepted at free-to-attend events. Find complete details at avl.mx/505.

• Pool Party — Saturday, June 23, 2 p.m.
This Stonewall Commemoration Week kickoff is inclusive and family-friendly. “A great environment to feel comfortable in your body, wear the swimsuit you like and have fun with friends,” says the Facebook invite for the event, held at the Jewish Community Center, 236 Charlotte St. Hot dogs, not dogs, snacks and ice cream will be available for purchase. Pre-sale tickets are required for admission, $5-$20 sliding scale, at avl.mx/50n.

• Queer songwriters showcase — Sunday, June 24, 7-10 p.m.
“Come sweat and sway with the babes in your community,” suggests the invite to this show at The Odditorium, 1045 Haywood Road. The lineup includes local queer, trans and nonbinary musicians MT Sullivan, Bless Your Heart, Brynn Estelle and Cloudgayzer, along with wWaylon from Atlanta. $5-$10 sliding scale admission; no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

• Queer songwriters showcase — Sunday, June 24, 7 p.m.
“Come sweat and sway with the babes in your community,” suggests the invite to this show at The Odditorium, 1045 Haywood Road. The lineup includes local queer, trans and nonbinary musicians MT Sullivan, Bless Your Heart, Brynn Estelle and Cloudgayzer, along with wWaylon from Atlanta. $5-$10 sliding scale admission; no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

• Free legal name change clinic — Monday, June 25, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
“Many hands make light work” might be a completely apt maxim in the case of navigating the system around legal name change. But embarking on the journey with kindred spirits can’t hurt. This clinic guides attendees through the paperwork and leads group trips to the Bureau of Identification on Davidson Street for fingerprinting. Meet at the WNC Community Center, 4 Doctors Park, Suite A. Fees include $10 for a set of fingerprints, $14 for a state background check, $14 for an FBI background check, $120 for a name change petition, plus a new birth certificate copy (price depends on state of birth).

• Stonewall history seminar — Tuesday, June 26, 6 p.m.
Myka Johnson from Queer Trans People of Color, Charlotte, leads an information session on “the leaders who kicked off the modern day LGBTQ movement — trans people of color,” says Tranzmission’s Facebook post. “Know your history so that you can honor while celebrating your pride.” The alcohol-free event, at the WNC Community Center, will look at luminaries such as Miss Major, Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Free to attend.

• Adult cocktail party — Wednesday, June 27, 6 p.m.
The Crow and Quill, 106 N. Lexington Ave., hosts this gathering for those who want to mix, mingle and sip libations and mocktails. $5-$15 sliding scale admission; no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Stonewall training series — Thursday, June 28, 4 p.m.
“An informative series of Tranzmission’s most beloved trainings,” according to the invite, includes “How to Be a Better Ally,” presented by Tranzmission youth and family program director Sharon Shelton Hansen; “Hormone Replacement Therapy and Screenings” with CMA Archer Emmet Faust and pharmacy intern Vanessa Hand; “On the Biology of Gender,” presented by Transmission logistics director Brynn Estelle; and “Using Evidence-Based Practices with Transgender and Nonbinary Counseling Clients,” presented by Tranzmisson support programs director Tuesday Vee. The alcohol-free event will take place at the WNC Community Center. Admission is by donation.

•  Movie night — Friday, June 29, 7 p.m.
The 2015 feature film Tangerine will be screened at the WNC Community Center. Directed by Sean Baker, the dramedy follows Sin-Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez), a transgender sex worker who learns her boyfriend has been cheating on her with a cisgender woman. The discovery leads Sin-Dee and her friend Alexandra (Mya Taylor) on a misadventure. Real-life friends Rodriguez and Taylor inspired the film; their roles in Tangerine led to the inaugural Academy Award campaign for openly transgender actresses supported by a film producer. The screening is an alcohol-free event and is free to attend.

• Nonbinary and trans adult prom — Saturday, June 30, 7 p.m.
Yes, there’s an under-the-sea theme. Yes, you can wear a mermaid dress (or whatever your heart desires). “Come for the dance of your deep-sea dreams and have a swimmingly good time with your friends and community members,” says the Facebook invite. “The night it sure to evolve into the dance party to end all dance parties.” This prom, which promises to, most likely, be way better than the prom you either attended or sat out, takes place at Land of the Sky UCC, 15 Overbrook Place. $7-$30 suggested donation; no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Contact Tranzmission to donate to the scholarship fund so others can attend.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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