womenwhokickass:

Ryka Aoki: Why she kicks ass

  • She is a writer, performer, and educator who has been honoured by the California State Senate for for her “extraordinary commitment to free speech and artistic expression, as well as the visibility and well-being of Transgender people.”
  • She is also head instructor of Supernova Martial Arts, whose mission is to empower LGBT youth through martial arts and self defense, and was a charter member of the Transgender Advisory Committee for Asian Pacific Islanders for Human Rights (APHIR).
  • She appears in the recent trans documentaries “Diagnosing Difference” and “Riot Acts” as well as the anthologies Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, and Transfeminist Perspectives (Temple University). Ryka has as an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University and is the recipient of a University Award from the Academy of American Poets. 
  • Her chapbook, Sometimes Too Hot the Eye of Heaven Shines won the RADAR’s 2010 Eli Coppola Chapbook Contest. Her first full-length volume, Seasonal Velocities, was released this year by Trans-Genre Press, the first press operated by and for trans people in the United States.
  • Ryka was the inaugural performer for San Francisco’s first ever Transgender Stage at San Francisco Pride 2005, and has performed in venues including the San Francisco Pride Main Stage, the Columbus National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival, the National Queer Arts Festival, Ladyfest South, Atlanta Pride, UCLA’s OutCRY, Santa Cruz Pride, and Emory University’s Pride Week. 
  • She was keynote speaker at UC Santa Barbara’s 2005 Pride Week, GenderFusions 2008 at Columbia College, UW Madison’s Trans Awareness Week 2009, the 2010 Transaction Week and UC Davis, and the 2010 QPOC Conference at UC Riverside. 
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