It’s that time again. The time when I get the honor to introduce a lesbian artist to you so that you all can support someone in our community that is out there making a difference. I’m actually really excited to present to you, C.D. Kirven. She is an artist, an activist and a writer.
When I first found out about her, I was stuck on the fact that she created a comic book with a Black, Lesbian Superhero as the main character. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I have been known to get my geek on, by collecting comic books and graphic novels. To the point of getting into bidding wars on Ebay with 12 year old boys. So to find out that one of our community has created something like The Tao Diaries and that she was at Comic-Con made me an instant fan.
But as I researched her a little bit more, I realized that she’s also a strong activist in our community. Not only for LGBT rights, but speaking out against racism within our own ranks. She is a published author, a painter and so much more.
I was lucky enough to get to interview her and here is what she had to say:
Sasha: At what age did you know you wanted to make a difference in the LGBT community? And was there a particular event in your life that set you on this path?
C.D.: At age of sixteen, I wrote an article about corporal punishment that went over the AP wire which generated enough interest that ultimately lead to restricting its use in Texas public schools. Then my second time “raging against the machine” was about 5 years ago when I held a community rummage sale to help save a local food pantry program that serviced 3,000 homeless HIV patients. At that point in my life, I was so tired of picking up the paper and learning of an injustice…but turning the page because I felt there was nothing I could do about it. “I was wrong!” The publicity from my rummage sale lead to other fundraisers and even though I only raised $1500 dollars…word of mouth regarding my efforts help raise the $250,000 needed to save the program. That’s when I learned “one person” can make a difference.
Sasha: What would you tell LGBT youth or anyone that hasn’t come out yet, a little bit of advice?
C.D: One of the reasons I wrote my book; “What Goes Around Comes Back Around” was for the youth of the LGBT community so that they knew they were not alone. The book is about a girl name Kingsley Ross and her coming out story..leading to an explosive sexual awakening. Also, our youth was the main reason I decided to create the comic book series, “The TAO Diaries”, hoping it would show them they can do anything and be anyone they want to be.. you are only limited by your own ambition.
(To read more about The TAO Diaries and how it came to be, click here.)
I would say there is nothing more powerful than standing in your own truth… Living it and breathing it…everyday…not allowing the ignorance of others the ability to keep you from becoming the amazing person you were always meant to be…because self-love is a gift…
The day you step out of the shadows of someone’s flawed version of who they think you should be and start living your truth… is the day you open the door to a whole new world. It gives you the freedom to shine… Only that truth can end discrimination and free us from the grip homophobia has had on our rights for far too long.
Because its no longer some stranger out there whose gay or lesbian…its someone they know and care for…changing hearts and minds leads to changing laws… I want our youth to embrace that voting is SEXY!
I’m an artist and paint as much as I possible because expressing yourself through art can be just as powerful as direct action.
(To read an article Curve magazine did on C.D., click here.)
(Check out The Dark Side of the Rainbow.)
(For her short story, click here.)
Though I must say my proudest moment was last year when I arrested in the DC office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi with the group “GET EQUAL” along with three other women… Standing up for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as well as the Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA).
We trained at the Highlander Center in Tennessee which is the same place Dr. King and Rosa Parks trained for direct action during the civil rights movement. It was an amazing experience for me as an African-American.
Sasha: Because my reader base is strongly but not only, routed in a butch/femme dynamic. Can we get a little personal with you and ask you how you identify and what kind of women you are most strongly attracted to? Since I saw in one of your videos that you’re single and beyond charming.?:)
C.D: I’m a butch lesbian and very unashamed of the beauty of that… I hope one day soon women will be able to embrace their masculinity and be accepted as sexy or beautiful… Men can be feminine and beautiful so we should be given that same opportunity on a national scale… That’s the feminist in me but it comes from the heart. I do drag king shows for charity…recently for female firefighters who were sexually harassed… My drag king stage name is “Jamie Fauxx” and I have a performance coming up on August 14th at Sue Ellens in Dallas for the fundraiser; “Kings for a Cause”… Come check me out!
There is nothing in this world more beautiful than a woman period! I’m very attracted to feminine women…all color, shapes and sizes… That said I do not think people should be put in a box or be ashamed of who they are attracted to…because we risk doing to our own community what the heterosexual community is doing to us… Two femes or Two studs loving each other is a beautiful thing too. Mine is a preference not a limitation.
The main thing I look for in a woman is that she will allow me to support in her efforts and that she will also support me in my attempts to change the world one person at a time… I have yet to find her but I know she is out there…once I find her, I’m never letting go…because loyalty in love is the rarest thing on earth.
My current projects are: “I’m working on a script, I give speeches at LGBT rallies across the country and I’m working on my second book; The Glass Closet”.