Defiant Archives

In 2015, Helyx was one of 5 co-curators of the Defiant Archives exhibit that showcased trans histories of existence and resistance in Philadelphia. The exhibit was on display in the William Way LGBT center from July-September, 2015 and then moved to Philadelphia City Hall, outside of the Mayors Office where it was on display from October-December, 2015.

Exhibit Description:

“Defiant Archives: Trans Histories of Existence, Resistance, and Brilliance” shares a collection of archival and personal items with a focus on the history of transgender activism in Philadelphia, curated and collected by local trans community members. Visitors will be able to watch a collection of oral history videos shared by the Trans Oral History Project, as well as the short documentary video “Transpass” about the work of Riders Against Gender Exclusion, a local activist group who won the fight to end SEPTA’s use of gendered stickers in 2013. The exhibit will also invite participation, as visitors are welcome to share their own histories on a timeline stretching from 1965 to 2015. The Defiant Archives exhibit responds to a missing piece in the Reminder 2015 celebration. Before, during, and after the Annual Reminder Day protests (1965-69) demanded gender conformity from participants, transgender and gender non-conforming activists have mobilized for sexual and gender self-determination, social transformation, and collective liberation.

Defiant Archives Press Coverage:


Philly Mag – Defiant Archives Exhibit on Trans Histories Transferring to City Hall

Philly Mag – PHOTOS: Opening Night of “Defiant Archives” at William Way Center

Philly Mag – William Way Community Center Opening Trans Philadelphia Exhibit

Philadelphia Gay News – Upcoming exhibit highlights contributions of Philly’s trans elders

Philadelphia Gay News – New exhibit asks trans community to help make history