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TYLER ASHLEY

Choreographer and Performance Artist

Moving straight to New York after college to pursue my passion ─ dance ─and not my major ─ marketing ─ left little stability in my life. Without health insurance and next to no money, I relied on Callen-Lorde for a safe and welcoming place for STI/HIV screenings and affordable primary care when I got sick or injured. As I spread my roots here in the creative community of New York, it is very clear to me just how integral Callen-Lorde is, as a part of the physical, mental, and emotional support systems of my trans, POC, LGBTQ, and fellow artist family.

When I started performing as the “Dauphine of Bushwick,” and shortly after started throwing my monthly party “Baby Tea,” advocacy was an immediate part of the equation. My second annual “Baby Tea for T: A Trans Advocacy Fundraiser” benefitted Callen-Lorde as a tribute to my trans and gender non-binary family. It’s been my experience that nightlife can be a profound vehicle to educate, elicit change and turn people’s perceptions on their head. That’s what’s drawn me there as an artist in this frighteningly uncertain moment.

Callen-Lorde is an organization of hardworking, dedicated staff fighting for the rights and wellness of some of the most marginalized and in-need people of our time. This is why I wanted to galvanize friends and family from various areas of my life to raise some money and awareness, honor trans and gender non-binary people who have lost their lives to acts of violence, and shout loud and proud that we will continue to stand up for our rights, equality, health, and above all, for love.