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With over a decade of experience in the entertainment industry, James Heath-Clark, a.k.a. Honey Davenport, has left an indelible mark on the New York City nightlife scene and beyond, touring the world as a singer, dancer, actor, drag superstar, and club DJ. They are a recording artist and vocal activist whose music speaks to the experiences of the oppressed, advocating for equality for all. Today they release a new EP, LOVE IS GOD, as well as a new video for “Thrive” featuring Kevin Aviance.

LOVE IS GOD is a collection of songs about love and overcoming dark times with an overarching story of judicial and sexual liberation. The five tracks draw upon a myriad of inspiration -- from pop, disco, house and reggaeton -- while spreading a message of social justice and change. It features the iconic house DJ / nightlife legend Kevin Aviance (of the House of Aviance) as well as drag superstars Manila Luzon, Tammie Brown, LaLa Ri and Jackie Cox.

Honey Davenport and Manila Luzon

Of the EP, Honey shares: “Mama Ru always reminds everyone to say love, so I choose to sing about it. I believe that love is the driving force of human existence. All of our emotions and our actions derive from our desire to feel and experience "love.” If there's one thing I want my listeners to take away from the LOVE IS GOD EP, it’s that love has infinite possibilities. I created some bops with my dearest drag sisters that really share a message of love and hope overcoming dark times.”

Love Is God (feat. Electropoint) youtu.be

LOVE IS GOD: THE VISUAL ALBUM, a short musical film directed by Honey Davenport featuring a story woven together by all the songs on the EP, will be released later this year.

LOVE IS GOD tracklist:

Love is God (feat. Manila Luzon)

Thrive (feat. Kevin Aviance)

Paradise (feat. LaLa Ri)

Love Still Last (feat. Tammie Brown)

Lady Justice (feat. Jackie Cox)

More about Honey Davenport:

Hailing from West Philadelphia, Davenport holds 18 pageant crowns, six Glam Awards, a 2020 GIANT Fest award for “Music Artist Of The Year” and zero tolerance for discrimination. Since appearing on Season 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, they have released 9 singles, including “Draw The Blood” which debuted at #26 on iTunes. Additionally, they have appeared as a guest panelist on VH1’s Black Girl Beauty, will appear in the upcoming feature-length film God Save the Queens, and they were featured in an international ad campaign by Trustpilot in 2019. During the pandemic, Davenport’s digital content was featured in Rolling Stone, Pink News and Billboard, who called them a “practical master class” .

Honey Davenport’s off-Broadway theatre credits include leading roles in The Electric Highway and Trinkets as well as a major role in The Orion Experience. They also performed in the Broadway national tour of Hairspray. New York Magazine has called Davenport one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Drag Queens in America, Paper Magazine called them “a New York icon”, and RuPaul’s Drag Race declared Davenport “legendary.”

Honey Davenport: Official site / Instagram / Twitter / YouTube / Cameo / Spotify / TikTok / Twitch

How to talk about transgender issues

So how do we talk about transgender issues (even if you're not transgender)? There are three main things to remember when discussing transgender issues today, so before getting into the meat and potatoes of it all, let's keep these things in mind:

  1. It is not a political discussion, it is a human rights discussion.
  2. There is a rich history rooted in transgender rights that must be considered when discussing these issues.
  3. Humanization should always be at the forefront of the conversation.

Before going into any conversation, no matter who it's with, try to keep these things in mind before you say something that may be inappropriate, misguided, or just plain wrong. Even those with the best intentions can mess up; remember that it is always ok to admit when you do not know something or when you are wrong. That being said, let's get into it.

sign with a 'friendly for all genders' image showing a person in a wheelchair, and a person with half a dress and pants on.

Transgender bathroom bills

commons.wikimedia.org

So whether you choose to become a transgender activist or if you just want to be a better ally, this easy talking point will generally keep you in line and on the safe side of conversations while still putting forth the effort to encourage and better represent transgender rights.

Easy, all-around approach: This will work for almost all transgender issues and expand on the previous three rules; firstly, trans issues are not a debate. When discussing with someone, do not indulge in hypotheticals and always remember that transgender people are the exact same as anyone else, with the exact same feelings. Keeping this in mind, let's use the bathroom bill as an example. When discussing this issue, one should humanize, de-politicize, and normalize the conversation. How does one employ this, though? Here is an example of how the conversation may go.

Person 1: I don't want men in the women's restroom, they will rape my daughters.

So this statement is clearly based on reactionary conversation perpetuated by anti-transgender ideals. This means that the person probably has a misconception of the history and oppression of transgender people. They also show concern for their family, which is a step towards humanization, despite the misconception. Here would be an appropriate response that helps to humanize, de-politicize, and normalize the conversation.

Person 2: I don't want men in the women's restroom, either, which is why we need to make sure people who identify as women are using the women's restroom. There has never been a documented case where a transgender person has raped either a man or woman in a public restroom. And by forcing people to use a restroom that does not match their gender identity, it is promoting violence, as there is a strong history of physical violence against transgender people.

By only saying about three sentences, you are able to do the previous steps while discussing the issue in a civil manner without opening it up to debate. The key to this is to keep it short and sweet, stating both the truth and an ally's stance to support the transgender community. It's critical to make sure that what you say is backed with confidence, though, which is why this second approach is more encouraged as it gives the person speaking more confidence in their opinion.

gif of a man in a suit talking about number 1. Number 1 GIF by PragerU Giphy

The second approach: backed by facts and history, is the exact same as before, but this approach leaves the other person with more questions about their stance and gives them something to consider. Before going into this approach, however, it is important to keep in mind that you are not debating the existence of trans people, nor are you trying to change someone's mind. That is not the goal; the goal is simply to get your opinion across in a way that honors both the trans community and their ideas. Let's take the same example as before but add the new sentiments.

Person 1: I don't want men in the women's restrooms, they will rape my daughters.

Person 2: There has never been a documented case of a transgender person raping anyone in a public restroom, and the only published cases of such were proven to be false. Further, when people say things like this, they are perpetuating violence against transgender people, which has historically (and still does) oppressed and insight further physical violence against them. And honestly, the most common reason there is this stance is because the person typically does not know a trans person and may not even know a person who does know a trans person. But the truth is, they probably do. The probability is more likely that the transgender people around them are just not comfortable enough in the environment to come out and speak up about their gender identity. And yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it is quite sad that some people's opinion does not invite civil discussion but instead incites violence.

This approach is more confrontational, which requires more confidence when using it in a conversation, but it still holds true to all of the previous rules and sentiments. It adds truth based on history, which is an important aspect of trans rights as it reminds people of where we were/ where we are currently with human rights. These ideas can be transferred to most all trans issues and will honor the transgender movement and your allyship. The last thing to keep in mind is the person or reason you are standing up for/with trans rights. The passion -the compassion will shine through in conversation if you keep your reasoning close to heart. Whether it is because of a transgender friend, family member, or just because of your moral values, if you put your emotions into your reasoning, it will create more compelling statements, especially if the statement is well versed with the facts.

Tips to Remember When Discussing Transgender Issues

  1. Transgender issues are not political, they are human rights issues
  2. There is a rich history behind transgender issues
  3. Humanize transgender people through our words and ideas and don't forget to include:
    • 3(b). The facts
    • 3(c).The confidence
    • 3(d). The inspiration behind the support for transgender rights

Transgender Sign in Pride Parade



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