from left: T De Long, Kathy Rey, Gyda Gash, Anohni and Lia Gangitano

We would like to thank everyone who joined us at Transisters and the Goddesses of Rock on May 22 to talk about the life and artwork of AIDS/trans activist Chloe Dzubilo (1960-2011).

Visual AIDS brought together T De Long, Kathy Rey, Gyda Gash, Anohni, Lia Gangitano, Kembra Pfahler and Jayne County to discuss Chloe’s rich and impactful life, from her involvement in the ’90s punk scene through her band the Transisters, to her advocacy for sensitivity around HIV/AIDS issues, adequate health care, and dignity for HIV positive people and trans folk.

A packed house watched footage from Chloe’s performances and a slideshow of photographs documenting the band. Clips from the discussion are embedded below, and also viewable on Visual AIDS’s Vimeo account.

There is also a Facebook album.

“She took me under her wing...No matter what your story was, she would normalize it and reflect normalcy back to you.” -- Anohni

“There are people who came before who made it possible for other people to get to the other side...there are people who came before who paved the way for the younger kids coming up now. It brings love to my heart that people like Chloe and me have paved that road. ” -- Jayne County

“The time Chloe had to focus on her solitary enterprises was limited by a desire to change the world as expediently as possible through the directness of music, activism, and advocacy. Chloe’s visual artwork was always there, a consistent thread, but somehow the immediacy of performance and hitting the streets and clubs, took priority.” -- Lia Gangitano

“The Transisters were one of the only bands that addressed issues any issues around AIDS and had the courage to sing about their anger. And to alchemically transform all of the hatred and stigma around the disease itself.” -- Kembra Pfahler

“Back when I met Chloe it was a scary time to be HIV positive. There were no medications, people were dying all around us...if you tested positive you were given five years to live. I met Chloe and we bonded instantly.” -- Gyda Gash

“Nobody talked about AIDS in the music scene. It was very male and straight... So it was the first time people were talking about this in the context of rock n’ roll. We were women and we were playing aggressive rock...they (audiences) weren’t expecting us to push the boundaries.” -- Kathy Rey

“She had a lot of anger and a lot of rage, and I told her ’you’ve just got to get it out.’ And she just started drawing. She used whatever was around and would just start and she would just go.” -- T De Long

“Chloe wanted to be witnessed. She wanted to force a safe space where she could give voice to her real concerns about her day-to-day life. She wanted to participate.” -- Anohni