Ryka Aoki de la Cruz
“If I respected gender boundaries, I’d look between my legs and never be trans,” Ryka Aoki de la Cruz declares. “If I can say I have a penis and I’m a woman, I can sure as hell say I’m a poet and write poetry.” L.A. based performance artist de la Cruz is a trans performer: poet, musician, author, zine publisher, literature professor and activist.
The Goth lesbian has found acceptance in the alternative community.
Her artistic work has been showcased in L.A. museums, numerous poetry festivals, LGBT prides and the documentary Trans Art; and she founded (transgiving.org), L.A.’s art and performance series dedicated to trans, genderqueer, and intersex artists. “Art is the single most powerful humanizing force we have. So…we have a trans actor get up and do a Shakespearean monologue to poetry and then, after we’ve made the audience cry, then say, ‘Now tell me I’m not human.’”