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Saturday, March 5, 2011

In Memoriam: Chloe Dzubilo

--by Robyn

Chloe Dzubilo, artist and AIDS and transgender activist, died February 18 in New York City. She was fifty years old. She was apparently overmedicated and fell in subway tracks.

Chloe studied art at the Parsons School of Design and received an associates degree in gender studies from CUNY-City College in 1999.

Originally from Connecticut, Chloe moved the East Village in 1982 and worked Studio 54 before becoming ad director for the art magazine, the East Village Eye. She wrote plays for and performed with the Blacklips Performance Cult (cofounded by Antony Hegarty) at the Pyramid Club, which had been founded by her partner Bobby Bradley. She also edited the Blacklips literary 'zine, Leif Sux. She also did some modeling.

Chloe was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987 when Bradley died of the disease. Her reaction was to become an advocate. Besides being a longtime volunteer with the LGBT Community Center's Gender Identity Project, she served with its HIV prevention team, which performed ts outreach at bars, nightclubs and on the streets. She also gave training workshops for health care and mental health care providers.

She performed with a local punk-rock band, the Transisters.

Chloe read me some of her poems - I loved them so much I put them to music and TRANSISTERS was born. TRANSISTERS songs pulled no punches in subject matter with lyrics like "I'm a big transsexual with lots of glamour. Walkin' down the street in full armour" and titles like "Kaposis Koverstick" and "Transie-Chaser." The year was 1995, we were in the thick of the AIDs crisis, needed to shout about it, and Chloe did a fantastic job.

FYI I have a TRANSISTERS CD's I would like to donate to any suitable cause or charity in Chloe's name

--Gyda Gash

She was involved with the Transsexual Menace and later directed the first federally funded HIV prevention program for transgender sexworkers in 1997. In 2001 she founded Equi-Aid, a Manhattan based horse-riding program for children with HIV or AIDS and other at-risk youth.

In September of 2002 Chloe became the first transperson on the cover of POZ. She appeared on the cover a total of three times.

In 2003 Chloe was appointed to the HIV and Human Service Planning Council of New York, which is "charged with developing spending priorities and allocating for Ryan White CARE Act Title I funds based on the needs of the ever-changing HIV/AIDS epidemic."

The vision of the Planning Council is that people living with HIV disease in the New York Eligible Metropolitan Area (EMA) will have access to appropriate, quality services across the continuum of care, resulting in the best possible health and quality of life.

At the time of her death, she was working on a project with her spouse, transman T De Long, which will be shown in June by the arts and advocacy organization Visual AIDS.

More at Indiegogo, minor progression, the Village Voice, the LGBT Community Center of NYC, The Punk Globe and Facebook.

Ain’t nothing like knowin’ what it feels like…when you slip thru the cracks of society, political niceties, political correctness, health care, housing, employment, wealth, shoe stores, subways, family outings, holidays, systems, systems. Systems. Ain’t nothing like knowing these facts deep in one’s bones. When you’re transsexual. Ain’t nothing like knowing triumph over all of these adversities.

-– Chloe Dzubilo

The art is from a show entitled Transeuphoria at Umbrella Arts, which Chloe curated along with Jeffrey Greene.

There will be a memorial for Chloe on March 12 at the Judson Memorial Church, near Washington Square.

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