We have the pleasure of currently working with a talented transgender writer and performer from New York, Brooklyn Brayl. Brooklyn recently released her collection of poems ‘Dirty Beautiful Words‘, which is a coming-out story told in visual poetry.
It is about Brooklyn’s journey of being on the gender divide, searching for her identity in a misunderstanding society. We are proud to be supporting Brooklyn on her journey, helping her and others spread awareness and understanding of transgender people. We hope that as a society we can become more understanding in order to stop prejudice, aggression and violence towards transgender people.
Below is a recent interview we did with Brooklyn…
Thanks for talking to us Brooklyn. First of all, congratulations on the release of your debut book, Dirty Beautiful Words.
I tend to go bat-shit crazy over the details. I’m a perfectionist, which is horrific and amazing when it comes to creating things. For me, the details make or break a project, because how something is ultimately presented is crucial to whether or not it’s taken seriously or seen as a joke.
So I would say the most difficult part for me is fine-tuning the details. And of course, finding the courage to be completely vulnerable.
The video for Bones is quite remarkable. How did you come up with the idea for it?
Thank you. Bones was a true test for me. I’ve never stepped outside my comfort zone in such a dramatic way. You could say that this project is my coming-out story on paper and film. So naturally, I was terrified, but I’m happy with the results and glad I took the plunge. I was able to collaborate with such talented people to bring together a vision I believed in.
The idea came from experience unfortunately. I’m not playing a tragic girl on camera. I am the tragic girl.
Are you planning on doing videos for any more of your poems?
Definitely. Which I’m excited and nervous about. I’m trying to actually live in the moment and enjoy the release of this video, but I’ve already started to think of ideas for the next treatment. I love storytelling and film, and although exhausting to create, I love the process.
Do you think the media/society could be doing more to help spread awareness of transgender issues, and more specifically the misunderstanding of and violence towards?
Absolutely. The media often turns a blind eye to the transgender community. Instead of actually educating the general public about the real scientific facts about gender, they often use transgender lives as a punchline or as a shocking gimmick to garnish ratings focusing on body parts instead of the person behind the painful journey. Thank God we now have some amazing figures coming forward in the media, like Laverne Cox and Laura Jane Grace. Or Kristin Beck, who I think is probably the most fearless person I’ve ever met. They give myself and others hope.
Is Dirty Beautiful Words part of a series? Are you planning any more?
I would love to release more poetry, however, I’m working on a full-length novel. Who knows if I will ever find the strength to finish it, but it’s certainly a life goal of mine. I’ve also been playing around with music.
What inspired you to start writing poetry?
My fucked up life.
Who do you think will enjoy reading Dirty Beautiful Words?
I think there’s something for everyone in the book. It’s super relatable.
How do you hope the book will help other transgender people, and anyone who feels isolated/alone?
Boy, girl, gay, straight or in between, I hope it reaches people out there who are in the same process that I’m in. Which means that I’m still figuring it out. Life is complicated and difficult at times and that’s something that anyone can understand, regardless of gender orientation or sexuality. It’s simply what it means to be alive and human.
Most transgender people in the media have already transitioned and are leading (what appears to be at least) these happily-ever-after lives. I’m very much in the struggle and in the storm. I’m living on the gender divide. I’m questioning deep parts of myself and making steps to evolve. I’m in the mess of it all, and I want others in the same boat to know that it’s okay. We are all in this together. And no matter what you decide or what route you choose, your story and identity are still valid regardless of how you present yourself gender-wise.
When did you first start writing?
To escape my troubled childhood, I would often listen to music and write. With the risk of sounding cliché, music and writing really saved my life.
Which writers, dead or alive, inspire your writing?
For now, I would rather not say. I will say that I am definitely influenced by the music industry.
When is Dirty Beautiful Words available for purchase and from where?
Lastly, where can we keep up with your work going forward?