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Philadelphia Art Festival Unveils Mural Celebrating Transgender People

The mural was made in collaboration with Morris Home, a residential treatment center for transgendered people


A new mural depicting transgender and gender-nonconforming people was unveiled in Philadelphia.

The mural, titled “We Are Universal,” was a project supported by the Mural Arts Philadelphia and the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services.

It spans 2,200 square feet on the side of Cake Life Bake Shop on Frankfort Avenue. It was created by artist Kah Yangni in collaboration with Morris Home, a residential program that “supports trans and gender non-conforming individuals as they develop the knowledge, skills and supports necessary to promote sobriety, manage emotional and behavioral difficulties, choose and maintain safe and healthy lifestyles, and develop healthy relationships with peers, family and the community.”

It is supported by Resources for Human Development, the nation’s only residential recovery program specifically for trans people. The mural features two Morris Home’s residents.

Yangi also included quotes from the residents including  “we’re trans,” “we’re survivors,” “we are joyful,” “we feel rage” and “we are universal!”

“I picked the words that describe people at Morris Home, but also the broader community of trans folks and folks in recovery,” Yangni said told NBC News. “I tried to pick things I felt like a lot of people could connect with.”

“I think it’s really awesome to be trans,” the artist, who uses gender-neutral pronouns, said. “I’m really proud of what I am, but I know that we live in this world where not everybody thinks that, and people in our community go through a lot. So I wanted to make something that would feel like a huge hug and acknowledges some of the things that are hard about our lives, but ultimately is really loving and really warm and says, ‘We’re here, and we exist.’”

The mural’s dedication on Sept. 28 was the start of Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Month, a month-long art initiative that includes mural dedications, panel discussions, artist spotlights, and walking mural tours. 

In addition to Yangi’s mural, Climate Justice Initiative will have a mural at the Cherry Street Pier that will be “fueled by the words and experiences of front-line BIPOC organizers, activists, and artists fighting for climate justice.”

Additionally, there will be a mural titled “Point of Triangulation: Intersection of Identity” which will “investigate and interrogate the production of stigma upon the justice-involved, by juxtaposing the perception of the formerly incarcerated person with the individual’s greater identity,” according to Mural Arts’ website.

The theme of this year’s Mural Art Month is resilience.

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8 responses to “Philadelphia Art Festival Unveils Mural Celebrating Transgender People”

  1. TRose says:

    Here here

  2. Herbie313 says:

    Just sick of hearing about all this faggotry, enough is enough.

  3. Herbie313 says:

    I cant respect people with no self awareness. Mural says “We are joyful, We feel rage!” What? Also you will not demoralize me and have me deny reality, two genders period. GTFO with your cult shit. You do you just leave the rest of us non cult members out of it….if you want to do your religous sacrifice of your cock and balls, or vageen thats on you!

  4. Chief007 says:

    Climate Justice. Really !

  5. pandusa says:

    This rant, as with many things, the END is more important than the beginning. The Rant-Damn, I am 61 and have never been celebrated for ANYTHING! THIS IS NOT FAIR! We demand JUSTICE! WE want all BOOMERS appropriately dressed, gray , blue, or peroxided, toupee-ed or hair- implanted, wrinkled or botoxed FACES on a painted mural celebrating US. Age before beauty. You think you face barriers buck-a-roos? Wait till you hit 50, and you will have discrimination (as well as a plethora of other things) to cry about. Hurt feelings as well as many other things ( like- wondering how you ever got out of the birth canal ) contributed to those wrinkles in our faces . Age and experience…can’t be bought…can’t be taught . You’ve either got it or you don’t ! WE DO! And unlike Karl Marx, a lot of us AIN’T DEAD YET ! We also have not lost our sense of humor. Which you are a constant test of. Lost, angry, confused generation- FIND yourself, BE yourself, and DON’T be afraid… you ARE loved and accepted… FEAR is the basis of all negative emotions. A million people will love you and a million people will give you hell. It is called LIFE . Sincerely, Memaw Leigh

  6. Rawdog says:

    This is so beautiful & brave. I was once a lesbian trapped in a male body. Now, I am a male presenting, transgender lesbian.

  7. Wolv256 says:

    We don’t care!!! How about you get some Damn self-esteem and accept yourselves instead of begging for attention and validation from us all the time? We just want to be left alone, we don’t care what you put in your butts.

  8. Fool_Moony says:

    It’s all so tiring.. Can’t we go back to art that isn’t about identity politics? There are beautiful universal themes to explore. Every new statue or mural that goes up in my town is either about BLM or women empowerment.

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