For those who have been following trans illustrator and tattoo artist Fyodor Pavlov, you know that his original full tarot deck has been years in the making. But you also may already be familiar with his art from this deck’s Lovers card, which features two trans bodies unapologetically displayed, and unfortunately massively overshared and copied on sites like Pinterest without credit.
The entire deck has been carefully crafted, with mindfulness to each card’s origin while also exploring oft underrepresented bodies and cultures in each design. Now Pavlov’s vision will finally be available in its entirety, along with a book explaining each card’s symbolism and the choices behind the imagery.
There are only a few days left in the Kickstarter for this tarot deck, so if you need a new queer tarot on your altar, check it out here.
When the documentary Changing the Game played at the Tribeca Film Festival, journalists were invited to a roundtable discussion with the transgender athletes featured in the film. At the cozy Battery Park offices of GLSEN, teens including wrestler Mack Beggs, skier Sarah Rose Huckman, and runner Terry Miller had a lively chat about transgender issues, their lives, and more. I was moved and inspired by their intelligence and bravery, even more so after I saw the movie.
“The film shows that we’re not just
transgender, that we live lives just like everybody else. It shows us.”—Terry
Changing the Game is an engaging and intensely
cinematic movie. It centers primarily on
three young trans athletes across three locations: Beggs in Texas, Huckman in
New Hampshire, and Miller in Connecticut.
Beggs, who isn’t allowed to compete against males under state
regulations, draws a ton of media attention, both positive and negative. Critics rail that he’s “cheating” by using
testosterone even as Beggs longs to wrestle other boys. Director Michael
Barnett introduces us to Mack’s support system: his sweet, horseback riding
girlfriend; his intensely driven, committed coach; and, most memorably, his gun
toting, Republican, and unconditionally loving grandma. These stalwarts come in handy as the quiet,
reserved Mack struggles internally with the jeers he receives at wrestling
“I’m putting out a story that can be
related to other trans people. And it’s
just amazing to be able to have a platform and use that to create good in this
world.”—Sarah Rose Huckman
perhaps the most articulate of the teens, and the most involved in
activism. From her popular YouTube
channel to her impassioned speech before the House Judiciary Committee in
support of the anti-gender identity discrimination law HB 1319, which was
eventually passed, Huckman emerges as a champion for equality—as well as a good
candidate to enter politics someday.
Like Beggs, Huckman has strong familial support in the form of her
loving adoptive parents.
“They talk about fairness, but what
about our fairness? Is that not
important, or does it not matter?
Everyone else wants fairness, so why can’t we have ours?”—Terry Miller
and her running colleague Andraya Yearwood , also a Black trans woman,
encounter their share of outspoken critics at track events. At one point a woman rants at the camera
about how neither girl will know what it’s like to run while on their period,
and eventually admits, “I forgot what the question is!” Barnett allows her to hang herself, but he
also makes a smart choice by giving screentime to the kids’ critics. These
moments and the news clips interspersed throughout show exactly what the young
athletes are up against—and underlines how brave they are to persevere in spite
of such venom.
“I take pride in being able to say,
‘I’m a transgender woman of color.’
Because there’s so many people out there who are not able to come out
and they’re afraid to.”—Sarah Rose Huckman
Changing the Game does a terrific job of depicting the
sports the teens excel at. Vivid slow
motion sequences bring the training, matches, and meets to life. There is exceptional cinematography of the
locations, such as the icy terrain Huckman skis across. Stark statistics about the realities of
transgender life appear, simply and without comment, over overhead shots.
“We just want to be known as who we
are. I’m Mack, I’m a guy.”—Mack Beggs
In a time
when transgender rights are being threatened on a daily basis, the importance of
Changing the Game cannot be
overstated. It’s a humanistic, beautiful
character study that makes a powerful statement just by depicting the
extraordinary/ordinary kids at its core.
Changing the Game will continue to
play at film festivals throughout the summer and fall.