PHOTOGRAPHY

“Towards Utopia”: Affordable Art to Benefit Black Trans Lives

Earlier this summer, a GoFundMe for the Homeless Black Trans Women Fund went viral. So did the image accompanying it, featuring two of the photographer and activist Jesse Pratt López’s “trans sisters,” ReVon and Brooklyn, on their way to get cell phones. Now, the portrait is again taking on new life: It’s one of 26 artworks featured in “Towards Utopia: Pro-Sex, Anti-Fascist,” a print sale benefiting on-the-ground groups supporting sex workers and Black trans people. “As a trans woman myself who has experienced housing insecurity, I can say that most trans women that I’ve met have dealt with housing insecurity or homelessness and do sex work to survive at some point,” López said. “It’s hard to keep a cell phone when sleeping on the streets.” The photo, which she took in 2019, tellingly touches on the same issues as Nan Goldin’s image from 1992, when the photographer got into Manila’s nightlife scene. “As everywhere, sex workers had a very difficult life,” Goldin said. “The older queens didn’t retire; they managed the bar and performed comedy routines onstage.” And yet, the struggle doesn’t come across in either photo. “Towards Utopia” is just as much a celebration of Black trans people and sex workers as it is a fundraiser, with images that capture the vibrancy, joy, and richness of their subjects. See more of the artworks and photographs featured—and affordably priced between $50 and $200—here.

1
ReVon and Brooklyn in the Car (On the Way to Get Their Phones), 2019.
Jesse Pratt López

Photo by Jesse Pratt López. Featured in “Towards Utopia: Pro-Sex, Anti-Fascist,” a print sale in solidarity with Black Trans People and Sex Workers.

2
Whitney’s show at International Caribbean, Manila 1992.
Nan Goldin

Photo by Nan Goldin. Featured in “Towards Utopia: Pro-Sex, Anti-Fascist,” a print sale in solidarity with Black Trans People and Sex Workers.

3
Papi Juice, 2019.
Gioncarlo Valentine

Photo by Gioncarlo Valentine. Featured in “Towards Utopia: Pro-Sex, Anti-Fascist,” a print sale in solidarity with Black Trans People and Sex Workers.

4
Arca at Mutant;faith, 2019.
Julia Foo

Photo of Arca by Julia Foo. Featured in “Towards Utopia: Pro-Sex, Anti-Fascist,” a print sale in solidarity with Black Trans People and Sex Workers.

5
Untitled (Serena), 2019.
Charles Ceasar

Photo by Charles Ceasar. Featured in “Towards Utopia: Pro-Sex, Anti-Fascist,” a print sale in solidarity with Black Trans People and Sex Workers.

6
Under Maisie’s Feet, London, 2017.
Molly Matalon

Photo by Molly Matalon. Featured in “Towards Utopia: Pro-Sex, Anti-Fascist,” a print sale in solidarity with Black Trans People and Sex Workers.

7
Reverie, 2019.
Erik Carter

Photo by Erik Carter. Featured in “Towards Utopia: Pro-Sex, Anti-Fascist,” a print sale in solidarity with Black Trans People and Sex Workers.

8
The Cash Twins, 2018.
Dana Lauren Goldstein

Photo by Dana Lauren Goldstein. Featured in “Towards Utopia: Pro-Sex, Anti-Fascist,” a print sale in solidarity with Black Trans People and Sex Workers.

9
Mamiwata, 2018.
Malike Sidibe

Photo by Malike Sidibe. Featured in “Towards Utopia: Pro-Sex, Anti-Fascist,” a print sale in solidarity with Black Trans People and Sex Workers.

10
Gilded Twist, 2020.
Ryan McGinley

Photo by Ryan McGinley. Featured in “Towards Utopia: Pro-Sex, Anti-Fascist,” a print sale in solidarity with Black Trans People and Sex Workers.

11
Torraine for the Cover of Candy Magazine.
Lia Clay

Photo by Lia Clay. Featured in “Towards Utopia: Pro-Sex, Anti-Fascist,” a print sale in solidarity with Black Trans People and Sex Workers.

12
Rear Window, 2018.
Richie Shazam

Photo by Richie Shazam. Featured in “Towards Utopia: Pro-Sex, Anti-Fascist,” a print sale in solidarity with Black Trans People and Sex Workers.