"I hope that my art brings acceptance .. just sheds light on a community or part of a community that's not really talked about" - Jabari Anderson
Sarasota, Florida - For Jabari Anderson, art captures a personal journey that has just started.
"I hope that my art brings acceptance," Anderson said, "and sheds a light on a community or part of a community that's not really talked about."
Anderson recently came out as a transsexual woman. It's been an emotional transition expressed through art.
"I feel like art is helping me to bring a voice to that," said Anderson.
That's the mission of this week's Harvey Milk Festival in Sarasota, as it aligns with ceremonies across the country to promote equality. The festival kicks off Thursday with a film festival and reception, and shares art and music on Friday and Saturday.
The theme of this year's Equality Gallery is "The Silent T," representing the transgender community and the silence and hostility it sometimes faces.
"They're treated like second class citizens," said artist Tucker Lenora. "They're treated like they don't exist."
This is a chance to make their artwork and their voices public.
"There's still tons and tons of violence against the transgendered community. And to not talk about it, as a queer person, and to not shed light on that, is shameful," Lenora said.
Lenora's portraits on display in the Equality Gallery show friends and people she admires who happen to be transgender. She, other artists, and the show itself are trying to make a difference for audiences and for the artists themselves.
"This has brought me and other people, hopefully, closer to being OK with becoming themselves," Anderson said.
The art show kicks off with live music on Friday from 6-10 p.m. at the Ivory Lounge at 1413 Main Street. The art will also be on display on Saturday starting at 4 p.m.