FTM magazine launches fifth issue at L.A.’s Hammer Museum

by Sylvia Rodemeyer

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday November 2, 2010


The Hammer Museum's usual calm and contemplative ambience was transformed on Friday, Oct. 29, to celebrate the colorful and eclectic world of Transylvania Mania. More than 600 LGBT artists and allies swarmed the grounds of the museum to partake in the Halloween-inspired entertainment.

The performers on hand ranged from veterans to fresh-faced acts. Partly because of this, the age range of the attendees also spanned decades. Those who graced the stage included legendary folk artist Phranc, openly transgender comic Ian Harvie, Our Lady Jay and Daniela Sea. But even the immense talent on stage had to compete with the interactive art of Julian Hoeber's Demon Hill installation and artist Austin Young's other-worldly "Tranimal" makeovers.

"I enjoy making a variety show a true variety," said the Hammer Museum's Darin Kline of the line-up.

The event was the brainchild of the Kline, who conceived the evening to celebrate the release of the fifth issue of San Francisco-based trans male quarterly Original Plumbing.

The quarterly started out as an idea for a small zine. OP editor Amos Mac, a well-known photographer in the Bay Area, wanted to showcase his photography of trans men to show the wide spectrum of diversity that exists among FTMs. Mac partnered with performer Rocco Kayiatos, who is the publication's assistant editor, and OP has been gathering fans across the country since the premier issue. Kline was one of those fans.

"When I first discovered Original Plumbing I was blown away," said Kline. "I found it to be a very necessary publication."

Mac has collaborated with Kline for additional Los Angeles events, but Transylvania Mania particularly impressed him.

"I was so charmed by the Hammer's layout and the fact that the stage was literally under the stars," said Mac. "It was so beautiful and every performance was incredible. I loved seeing so many familiar faces that I've come to know since the first OP event in LA."

Fashion is the theme of OP's new issue and it was also on the mind of those performing, from hostess Darlin's Victorian-inspired gown to Daniela Sea's and her bands all-white minimalist garb.

Gasps of recognition and excitement rippled through the crowd as pop duo Tegan and Sara and actress Clea Duvall mingled during the show. Complaints from attendees were few and far between, and mainly consisted of disappointment in the absence of an injured Patty Schemel, the original drummer from Hole. Schemel was set to perform with Sea's band, but was home with a broken ankle.

Jax Malone, 19, was thrilled to be at an all-ages Halloween event at which he could feel comfortable. "I didn't come in costume because I just wanted to be myself," he said.

Mac also applauded the event.

"Los Angeles events are always a melting pot of incredible artists and performers and this event was no different-definitely one of the most memorable launch parties for me," said Mac.

Log onto www.originalplumbing.com to purchase Original Plumbing's latest issue.