Philadelphia is celebrating Mural Arts Month (and the LGBTQ community) in a truly remarkable way. Mural Arts Philadelphia recently dedicated the first public artwork that celebrates The City Of Brotherly Love’s transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming communities. That artist behind the mural (appropriately titled “We Are Universal”) is Kah Yangni. The mural is along a one hundred foot wide wall & is sprinkled with vibrant hues of lavender, blue and purple throughout. It also features words of inspiration that started during a workshop with residents from Morris Home, a residential recovery program in the country that offers services for the trans and gender non-conforming community.
An illustrator and muralist, Kah Yangni (they/them) has had their art shared by actress Indya Moore and is currently working on a picture book called “Not He or She, I’m Me” by A.M. Wild. Yangniu spoke during the dedication saying “It’s really exciting that, in the city that has thousands of murals, we get our first one,” Yangniu told WHYY “I think that’s so cool.” They went on to say “I like making art that looks hand-drawn. It feels really warm and human,” said Yangni. “When you’re trying to get people to feel healed, I think there’s something about being able to sense that, like, a human being actually made this that works better than really clean lines.”
While the mural’s butterfly shapes, flowers, and sketchbook type drawings are vibrant and eye-catching, it is the words written in crayon-style font in the mural that add both power and gravity to this landmark mural that is now proudly part of the city that is so well-known for its vibrant and diverse murals placed throughout the city.
We’re trans, we’re survivors.
We are joyful
We feel rage
We are Universal.
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