I tried really hard to think about the last time I’ve read about a Black trans woman in a comic book. This past week Trans Awareness Week and yesterday was Trans Day of Remembrance and I could not recall a Black trans woman in comics. I did remember in a few issues of Jem and the Holograms but that’s it. Recently, I noticed my friend Tali posting these vibrant images that gave me strong Steven Universe vibes. I thought the images were delightful and then she told me about her new project called Swipe Left. Of course, in today’s culture swiping left is associated with online dating so it was pretty transparent on what her comic would be about.
But Tali better known as AgnoticTrek told me she wanted to explore a relatable experience about dating as a Black trans woman. Tali who is a Black trans woman herself wanted to fill the void of Black trans representation that is in media. We are aware of the unfortunate and preventable violence that Black trans women face. We also know that the life expectancy of a Black trans woman is 35-years-old. Tali, who is not only an artist but a community activist for the Black trans and Black queer community wanted to offer an alternative view on Black trans women and their dating experience.
“Swipe Left is a slice of life webcomic following the life of Senna, a black trans woman as she navigates love, rent and balancing it all,” Tali told me when I asked her to describe Swipe Left. She wanted to showcase Black trans women navigating life as everyone else does; worrying about bills, working and having a shitty love life. This is also a good way for readers and cis-gendered people to understand trans folks and how they navigate through society. We have to support Black trans lives while they are amongst us and not when they become a hashtag on social media.
The disturbing facts are Black trans women face unjust discrimination across several sectors that includes employment, housing, police brutality, and health care. Tali is using her art to present a different narrative to show normalcy as a Black trans woman. It sounds simple but what she is creating is quite radical.
Tali has created a Patreon and she releases a new Swipe Left episode every Sunday. You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook. We have to keep in mind that #AllBlackLivesMatter when it comes to community building and liberation. We can’t pick and choose what Black people are worth liberating based on their identity or sexual preference. We live in a society that enforces transphobia and homophobia but it is a choice to remain that way.
In celebration of Swipe Left and Tali Economy, Fabulize Magazine has exclusive Swipe Left merchandise now available online. The proceeds will go to Stonewall Youth. Check out the latest Dainty Thug episode where Tali and I talk about her comic, Black trans women, allyship and problematic d!ck!