There’s a lot of very serious stuff in the news: Native Americans are facing brutal attacks in North Dakota as they demonstrate against the building of the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline, which threatens to poison their water supply. Tax experts have told The New York Times that, for years, the Republican presidential nominee stretched tax loopholes “beyond any recognition,” and despite having also bragged about sexually assaulting women, he still has some chance of actually becoming the nation’s commander-in-chief.
In addition, November is also Transgender Awareness Month, which, for some of us, has too often become solely a meditation on the discrimination, misunderstanding, and often-fatal attacks that transgender people face every day in the United States and around the world.
For those of us at SF Weekly, it’s important to acknowledge Trans Awareness Month because we believe that too few people — yes, even those of us who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual — have really educated ourselves enough about the specific issues that trans folks face.
As Americans, it’s a great time to remember (or read up on) William Dorsey Swann and how his group of cross-dressing “inverts” shook up our nation’s capital in the 1880s (because they were gay and transgender activists before the words “gay” and “transgender” even became identities). As San Franciscans, it’s also time to remember (or learn about) Gene Compton’s Cafeteria Riot of 1966, one of the country’s first transgender-led uprisings, in which trans folks in the Tenderloin fought back against mistreatment by the police, three years before the better-known Stonewall Riots of New York City.
But it’s also time to celebrate the trans folks who are alive and kicking today, and to acknowledge that their lives can be inspiring and joyful and funny. To help do that, SF Weekly is proud to announce, we have become the first print newspaper to feature a weekly contribution by Kylie Summer Wu, whose popular online comic, “Trans Girl Next Door,” has won her numerous laurels.
Wu was featured in last year’s Trans 100 — a list of notable people “working on trans issues in the United States and having a positive impact” — as well as in Elite Daily‘s list of 10 most influential trans millennials, an honor that she shared with Laverne Cox and Janet Mock.
When asked for a quote about her new cartoon, the West Los Angeles resident tells me, “Kylie makes weekly comics about her life as a trans woman. She also lives her life as a cat lady, but she doesn’t have any cats. Salsa is better than guac.”
In addition to Kylie Wu, SF Weekly will also be featuring two other new (nontransgender) cartoons that appear in no other newspaper. Each week, Jay Duret, a San Francisco-based artist and writer, will now transmute our nation’s sad politics into hilarity with “The Week in Review.”
“Jay Duret sticks it to the man with a sharp stick and then twists,” he says.
Last but not least, Brandon Sheffield, a game developer from Oakland, and Dami Lee, an artist and editor from Brooklyn, will honor our pages with their amazing “Hot Comics for Cool People.”
“We like to make comics about humans in predicaments, drawing on our extensive experience of being big dumbos,” they say. “Anticipate us!!!”
Dear readers, I hope you enjoy them all as much as we do.
“Notes From the Intersection” is a column by SF Weekly‘s editor, who lives at the intersection of cisgender ally, cartoon-lover, and many other identities.