Tiq Milan and Kim Katrin Milan: A queer vision of love and marriage
Tiq Milan - Transgender activist
Already a tireless advocate for positive and honest portrayals of LGBTQ people in media, Tiq Milan now evangelizes for the unifying power of love. Full bio
Kim Katrin Milan - Writer, educator, artist
Through her art and writing, Kim Katrin Milan advocates for queer, trans and feminist issues. Now she’s using her own love story to help bridge communities. Full bio
was on Facebook,
that I knew she was going to be my wife.
amount of time for our courtship;
the vulnerable truths up front:
certificate should have stood for "False,"
pebbles in my shoes.
I took forward.
a cisgender queer woman.
I was assigned at birth
the many different ways
restricted by gender
of who I am and how I've loved.
from the very beginning.
from institutions and traditions.
to commit to each other
of the "Golden Rule,"
the way we want to be treated.
the standard for other people,
the way they want to be treated,
of love that Tiq needed
about his fears, his insecurities --
kind of love I needed.
of their love because I was trans.
and often signed into law.
from internalizing that message,
of community work behind us,
of a family in front of us,
and a bit of an orphan,
the differences in our strengths
but we don't live marginalized lives.
new ways of existing.
too proud and too freeing.
was going to be my helper or my rib,
to reign in, control or critique.
sight of her empathy.
about setting each other free.
his mother's incredible legacy.
were able to start from that place,
that was around figuring out
to grow into the people that we were
committed to each other
concern when I transitioned
precluded me from love and monogamy
born in the wrong body?
that has to be reframed
binary thinking on gender
along the numb keloid scars
all the way out to my outer torso.
reminders of my strength
to bless a union for folks like us,
supposed to recognize it.
after meeting online,
of City Hall in Manhattan,
in every conceivable way.
reimagined some traditions,
that we worked in,
that worked for us.
with wildflowers from Brooklyn --
and sage to keep us grounded
sister healer friend of ours.
are not my thing,
my father's bastard child,
an apology, a secret, an imposition.
who chose me first.
and some close friends,
as we took our vows.
photos on Facebook,
than just a union of two people,
for the millions of LGBTQ folks
is antithetical to who they are --
who rarely get to see ourselves
because of our identities,
to be the people that we are.
receptive and shape-shifting.
source of, our strength.
of that strength.
poet Brandon Wint:
queer like escaping definition.
and limitlessness all at once.
too strange to be conquered.
to imagine what love can look like,
who are living their authentic selves
that always is present
is murdered every 21 hours.
trans murders on record this year
than this rigid dichotomy
complexity on these margins,
on these margins.
that we have literally never seen before;
on love and not by blood,
have been shown ourselves.
love from our families --
that we trust most.
entirely new languages of love.
for us to be our authentic selves
is supposed to be.
in love and inclusion
gender, in their skin --
to unlearn these deep-seated biases
to be self-determined,
world than the one we were born into.
that we were here.
into our relationship
to make maps to the future
other peoples' experience,
complicate this idea
are supposed to be.
a mirror up to ourselves.
always the best listener,
of our progress as a couple.
these deep-seated, sexist ideas
of a woman's experience in the world.
to be in allyship with my wife.
of a lot of things, too.
we got into a massive fight.
and our lived experiences --
puts ourselves entirely on the line.
over the course of two days --
together to each other,
to each other and to our marriage.
some of the most passionate parts
with being a man don't define me,
for how it shows up in my life every day.
to do all of the emotional labor
when I'd rather clam up and run away.
instead of facing my own vulnerabilities,
miscarriage we suffered last year,
we get to take the easy way out.
is about reimagining masculinity.
that isn't measured
by the entitlements afforded to it,
that it can muster,
for my femininity to flourish
of the cleaning than I do.
to get out of the house
as though it is frivolous or superficial,
of gender every single day.
get dressed in the morning.
and colorful, and tight,
negotiate her decisions
to get the least amount of attention,
of the vibrant and sexy woman she is.
her for her beauty,
beautiful and special and free,
and trans people
this retelling of history
to not see ourselves there.
is about that representation.
of our inheritance in this world, too.
love and institutions.
of gender and sexuality,
is self-determined and not imposed,
is a kaleidoscope of possibility
masquerading as science or justice.
that exists in the world,
of people to really change.
of faith and dedication.
than I ever thought possible --
speaking the same language.
to be married to this man;
the possibility of changing minds,
where love belongs to us all.
of self and a community,
not to leave anyone behind.
throughout changes to gender
in our chat rooms,
and in our community centers.
each other for the long haul.
About the Speakers:Tiq Milan - Transgender activist
Already a tireless advocate for positive and honest portrayals of LGBTQ people in media, Tiq Milan now evangelizes for the unifying power of love.
Why you should listen
Tiq Milan speaks and writes about intersectional leadership, transgender rights and racial justice. He shares stories of his life and how his transgender experience has informed his views on masculinity, race and the gender binary. A journalist for over a decade, his work has appeared on MIC, Buzzfeed, NBC and CNN. He is also a strategic media consultant, helping organizations and companies create detailed media campaigns that engage diverse audiences in ways that are inclusive and authentic.
Tiq has been most inspired by his years mentoring LGBT youth at the Bronx Community Pride Center and the Hetrick Martin Institute in the New York City. He was able to witness first hand the intersectional lived experiences of gay and trans youth and how it's affected by social systems put in place to help them. He most recently was the senior media strategist and national spokesperson for GLAAD, where he utlilized the media to call attention to the needs of the LGBT community, particularly transgender people of color.
Tiq is currently the co-Founder of Milan Media Arts Productions (MAPS) along with his wife, Kim Katrin Milan. MAPS is a content creation and consulting firm that is dedicated to creating narratives of queer people and their allies. View his published work, features and appearances here.
Tiq Milan | Speaker | TED.com
Kim Katrin Milan - Writer, educator, artist
Through her art and writing, Kim Katrin Milan advocates for queer, trans and feminist issues. Now she’s using her own love story to help bridge communities.
Why you should listen
A daughter of the diaspora -- Afro-Caribbean, Venezuelan Arawak, Indian and Scottish, hailing from Trinidad and living between Toronto and New York -- Kim Katrin Milan is an acclaimed educator, writer and artist.
Kim is the co-founder and Executive Director of The People Project, an initiative to bring forth local and international community development for queer and trans folks of color and their allies through alternative education, art-activism and collaboration. She is also one of the owners of the Glad Day Book Shop, the oldest LGBT bookstore in the world.
As an educator, Kim travels around the world talking to people about justice, equity and human rights. She is dedicated to inclusivity and invested in arousing a sense of curiosity and empathy in her audience. She uniquely weaves together the historical context, statistical analysis, as well as current events.
A public researcher, consultant and human rights educator, Kim has shared hundreds of unique resources and presentations around intersectional issues including race, ability and gender. As a social entrepreneur, she speaks to the opportunities and challenges for women in business and leadership roles. With great openness, she welcomes difficult conversations hosting community dialogues and sharing practical strategies around sexuality and consent, queer and trans allyship. and anti-racism and equity.
Since 2012, Kim has spoken at universities including Princeton, Dartmouth, McGill and Mount Allison. She has opened for cultural scholar Cornel West at UC Davis, delivered the keynote address at HBCU's Morehouse and Spelman's first Pride, and she was a panelist at Amber Rose's first SlutWalk. She has hosted events for the United Nations, acted as the Grand Marshall for Hudson, NY Pride and hosted an session at Dreamforce 2016.
Kim has contributed to Cosmopolitan, MTV, NBC, Larry King Now, Buzzfeed and the CBC, both independently and alongside her husband Tiq Milan. She regularly contributes to TeleSUR English, the Central American news network.
Kim Katrin Milan | Speaker | TED.com