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As a trans, masc, non-binary DJ I have always been in the middle between two worlds, the women's centred nights and the cis gay male ones. I have always worked for both of them in Milan, also when I was still a-gender.

Gender binarism in everything that surrounds us is upsetting, from the advertising on tv to the public toilets, it starts from an early age at school.

They teach you that either you are a boy or a girl, and if you don't identify with the gender you were assigned at birth there must be something wrong with you.

It is fundamental that we protect trans kids

I felt I was a boy when I was three, I remember the crystal-clear feeling of waking up every morning checking if I was still that weird little boy with a different body.

Around the same time, I suffered from my first bullying episode when the whole class of kids at my nursery school followed me in the loos and forced my door to check my genitals to know if they were female or male. It was such a traumatic experience, I was crying and screaming, trying to keep that door shut. It was awful and the teachers just laughed at me minimizing the whole thing.

It’s fundamental to recognise and protect trans kids at school from bullies, depression and anxiety.

I was a very sad and lonely kid, playing with imaginary things and then I became a very sad teenager, into alcohol and self-harm.

Giving visibility and space to underground trans artists

But when I moved to the city, Milan, and I started to DJ within the queer scene, I felt I could self-determine myself and be a-gender, calling my self S/HE as including and excluding any gender. Being non-binary in the early 2000 was still tricky, being misgendered all the time also within the gay community.

In 2011, after a few years touring Italy and Europe with the Pornflakes Queer Crew collective, I co-founded with the artist Dafne Boggeri the collective Tomboys Don’t Cry, with the aim to give space and expression to women identified persons and non-binary creatures with DJ sets, concerts, screenings, exhibitions, performances.

It's important to have a clear representation of our minorities within the queer community. It's fundamental to recognise the importance and value of our presence, as trans persons and artists, in the society.

I have always found amazing the Trans community in London and since 2018, when I permanently moved here, I collaborated with trans and queer collectives. Transmissions warmly welcomed me and I will never forget that – all very inclusive.

I am currently collaborating with Boudica – a women and trans/ non-binary centred techno night – and will DJ at the Flesh Festival that is the first queer camping music festival in London on the 28 and 29 of May with three stages.

The line-up is a dream with artists like Ellen Allien and LSDXOXO and it is amazing how Flesh breaks the usual pattern of a dominant male presence in music festivals with 90% of underrepresented artists as women, trans, non-binary persons. It’s important to actively change things like giving visibility and space to underground trans artists like me, to change the perspective of the public, to make us grow.

Every gender is valid and every trans path is sacred

Today I want to celebrate our resilience, our inner strength to change the perception the world has of us, no matter what. I want to celebrate our joy to see ourselves in the mirror and finally recognise ourselves for the very first time. The joy of learning to love ourselves.

I will never forget when I saw my chest for the first time after my top surgery in 2016, I had tears of joy. I dreamt about that moment for nearly 10 years, wearing non-stop, tight, suffocating binders that were causing a strong back pain and a lot of distress, causing posture problems and bleeding bruises. I still remember the first time I could finally be topless on a beach, the first time I wore a t-shirt with finally nothing underneath. It still gives me so much joy every day.

But there are many paths and many ways to be trans that don’t involve any surgery or hormones. Every gender is valid and every trans path is sacred. Sacred to life as a self-respect for who we are. It’s such a privilege to be accepted and loved easily, no matter what, from our families, in our workplace or in our daily life but it shouldn’t be. It should be as natural as breathing to have the same rights as everybody else but still it isn’t.

Many trans women (especially POC) are still killed, harassed and assaulted every year, everywhere. Many trans kids don’t receive the support they need from their families and school environment, and this often leads them to self-harm and in the worst cases to suicide. As trans artists we can be visible and seen as role models for many

trans kids that live still in the dark. Life can be different, it can be joyful if we truly live our full self.

We are blessed to have such a strong LGBTQI+ community in London that supports us but there is still a lot of discrimination and hate here and worldwide.

We want to be heard and seen in all our revolutionary glow.

Photo ofS/HE
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S/HE is a queer non binary trans* DJ based in London. He artistically grew up in Milan where he was formerly part of the Pornflakes Queer Crew and he is currently part and co-founder of the Tomboys Don't Cry collective. He will Dj at the Flesh Festival on the 29th May this year. His gothic background and his research on electronic music mould deep outlines for a hard-beat cosmic dance with a post-gender touch.

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