The Bloomfield-based studio announced a new season of True T Presents focused on “inspiring conversations led by LGBTQIA+ community members of color, innovative queer media curated by local and visiting artists, and socially conscious multigenerational programming for everyone to enjoy regardless of race, sexual preference, or gender identity,” according to a press release.
Now in its third year, True T Presents features a diverse lineup of “COVID-friendly activities,” including community-led workshops, collaborations with new and returning partner organizations, talent showcases, and more.
“As we start the transition into the new year and share with the world our Spring season, I am reminded of the amount of love and strength the community has shown over the past 12 or more months,” says True T co-executive director Duane Binion. “This season is a reflection of the adaptability and resiliency put forward by so many."
Binion adds the new season represents “a collective of game changers from all spectrums of the LGBTQIA+ community coming together to make an impact and level the playing field through Education, Resource Sharing, and Creative Art."
Among those slated to participate in the spring season are Dreamz Hair Salon, ColorMe Urban, Central Outreach Wellness Center, Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation, and #ChangeRapeCulture PGH, which True T has previously worked with during events like the January #OPENYOURPURSE Digital Drag Show.
The community workshops are described as being “designed to stimulate, educate, and bridge communities.” These were officially kicked off on Jan. 28 with the launch of Breaking Binary, True T's new bi-weekly podcast series that seeks to explore traditional social norms and “rips them to shreds” through various hands-on individual and groups activities, all facilitated by True T community health program manager Matoaka Winston.
True T will also spotlight artists from two residency programs. This includes Khadijat Yussuff, a Yoruba-American audiovisual artist who, over the past three months, has worked as part of the organization's Queer Media Artist Residency. Starting Fri., Feb. 26, True T unfolds its CurioCity spring residency with Ayana Sade of Mystic Mama and Diarra Imani of Star Seed Academy. Described as an “exploration of self, development, and healing,” the five-week program will instruct participants on how to utilize numerology and astrology, sound therapy, yoga and meditation, and more. The residency concludes with a showcase presented over Zoom.
Other highlights include the HIV/AIDS support group Power Hour 3.0, happening on the first and third Wednesday of each month, and Silky Thursdays, a monthly virtual vogue series presented in collaboration with Project Silk, a group focused on providing safe, recreational spaces for young gay men and trans women.
The announcement also comes with True T promising to continue and expand on initiatives like its Option-U emergency housing program. Launched by the nonprofit in December 2019 in collaboration with TransYOUniting, Option-U provides free, apartment-style, temporary living spaces for homeless and/or disenfranchised trans and nonbinary people in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.