C. D. Kirven

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Chastity D. Kirven, known as C. D. Kirven[1][2] is a community organizer, human rights activist, writer, artist, filmmaker, comic book creator, feminist and outspoken LGBT rights activist. Kirven spoke at the Supreme Court during the oral arguments for the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 on March 27, 2013, which was attended by over 10,000 people.

Early life and education[edit]

Kirven was born in Waco and raised in Dallas, Texas. At the age of 16, Kirven wrote an article about corporal punishment which reached the Associated Press wire, raising awareness and generating sufficient interest to help restrict its use in Texas public schools. Kirven graduated from Texas Woman's University with a bachelor's degree in communications and was voted LGBT rights activist of the year by the Dallas Voice in 2012.[3]

Career[edit]

Kirven was a founding member of several LGBT non-profit organizations, including Get Equal Now and DFW Pride Movement. Kirven was a Get Equal Now board member, and was one of the ENDA Four who were arrested in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office in March 2010.[4] In addition, Kirven produced and directed the first LGBT cell phone documentary short called, The Dark Side of the Rainbow: The Price of Inequality.[5] about same-sex domestic violence. The film debuted at the Connecticut Film Festival and was a finalist for the Texas award at the USA Film Festival. The Dark Side of the Rainbow is used in abuse prevention programs at Chicago’s Center on Halsted. The film was also screened at the San Diego Black Film Festival and the Reno Film Festival.

Kirven has spoken at LGBT political rallies across the country and was a community organizer for the Legacy of Success Foundation, where she chaired several non-profit events. One such event was One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Dinner, which raised money for a food pantry program that fed over 3,000 low-income people living with HIV-AIDS.[6] Kirven was a contributing writer for several news organizations, including The Dallas Morning News, The Huffington Post, Bilerico, The Dallas Voice, Cherrygrrl, and Telemundo. Kirven wrote her first novel called What Goes Around Comes Back Around in 2008. It was nominated for the Lambda Literary Award.[7]

In October 2012 Kirven, working with John Dean Domingue, facilitated LGBT rights training at the Regional Project for Europe, which included 17 LGBT leaders. The project was coordinated by the Dallas World Affairs Council's International Visitor Program (IVLP) and the U.S. State Department’s professional exchange program. The IVLP] works with an extensive team of local volunteers, businesses and community leaders.[8] The program plays a key role in building public diplomacy and international connections for the region.

Kirven and other members of Get Equal Now protested Exxon for its anti-LGBT stance.[9] Kirven continued protesting until Exxon changed its health benefits to include LGBT families in 2015. Kirven has held protests for the inclusion of LGBT families in both the City of Dallas and Dallas County health benefit packages. Kirven held several rallies protesting California’s Proposition 8 ruling and Defense of Marriage Act,[10] in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area. Kirven is a member of the Dallas LGBT Taskforce which is overseen by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. As a member of the task force chaired by Dallas City Councilman Adam Merdrano, Kirven created the first LGBT family day at the Dallas Zoo and LGBT families received free admission. Kirven is also a member of Mayor Rawlings Domestic Violence Taskforce for the City of Dallas.

Kirven created the first black lesbian superhero comic book series called The Tao Diaries.[11] Kirven has traveled to several comic book conventions across the country and was featured at Stan Lee’s ComiKasz Convention in Los Angeles,[12] in 2012. Kirven is an artist and has been featured in several art shows,[13] across the country including Art as a Weapon at the Smoke & Mirrors Art Gallery in Dallas, Texas. Kirven organized the Ribbons and Roses rally and candlelight vigil in front of Dallas City Hall to show solidarity with female employees of Dallas Fire-Rescue Department who say they have faced harassment and discrimination on the job. To support female Dallas firefighters she organized King for A Night drag king show in October 2010. Kirven is a musician who plays both the trumpet and guitar.

Kirven has spoken and organized several pro-choice rallies across Texas in protest of Texas Senate Bill 5. Kirven is also active in the Texas Civil Rights community, and has spoken at several Black Lives Matter rallies across the country. Kirven is featured in the documentary From Selma to Stonewall, directed by lesbian filmmaker Marilyn Bennett.[14] The film is a documentary that begins with the Civil Rights Movement in Selma and the Gay Rights Movement that started at Stonewall, and deals with issues such as racial injustice, police brutality, trans antagonism, and queer homelessness.

Kirven created the first Indiegogo campaign that raised money for Crime Stoppers rewards.[15] Kirven worked with Youth First Texas raising over $2,000 in reward money to help find the killer of Molly Olgin, and the man who brutally assaulted Kristene Chapa in Portland, Texas in 2012. Kirven created her second Indiegogo fundraiser to raise reward money for information regarding the murders of the Houston lesbian couple Britney Cosby, and her girlfriend, Crystal Jackson. Kirven's efforts increased public awareness and assisted with arrests in both cases.

Struggle[edit]

Kirven has fought against racism in the LGBT community. Kirven with Derrick Spillman and several others created Dallas Black Gay Pride celebration (DFW Pride Movement) in response to the lack of Black culture in the main gay pride celebration. There has not been a Black grand marshal in Dallas' Gay Pride's 40-year history. Kirven has also fought against homophobia in the Black community. She has written articles and organized several rallies to educate the Black community regarding LGBT rights. In 2012, Kirven and Daniel Cates were voted among the DFW area's most influential people and named The Equalizers.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://lgbtqblog.dallasnews.com/2014/04/meet-c-d-kirven-lgbtq-insider.html/
  2. ^ http://cdkirven.blogspot.com/
  3. ^ Michael Stephens (2012-12-07). "Person of the Year: Cd Kirven". Dallasvoice.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  4. ^ Geidner, Chris. "Not the ENDA the Road". Metro Weekly. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 24, 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Hot meals for HIV patients still cooking". Dallas Voice. 2008-01-24. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  7. ^ "C.D. Kirven". huffingtonpost.com. The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 13, 2017. 
  8. ^ "International Visitor Program". dfwworld.org. World Affairs Council Dallas Fort Worth. Retrieved March 13, 2017. 
  9. ^ Juhasz, Antonia (2013-09-03). "What's Wrong With Exxon?". Advocate.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  10. ^ Darby, Luke (2013-06-27). "Dallas Activists Celebrate Gay Marriage Rulings". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  11. ^ John Wright (2011-01-13). "Comic Relief". Dallasvoice.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  12. ^ "Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo 2012 Collector's Program - 22". Nxtbook.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  13. ^ "Artistic Activist CD Kirven - Curve Magazine - December 2009 - USA". Curvemag.com. 2009-12-31. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  14. ^ "Truth in Progress". Truth in Progress. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  15. ^ "North Texans make donation to Crimestoppers in Portland". Dallasvoice.com. 2012-08-09. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  16. ^ Merlan, Anna (2012-06-22). "Daniel Cates and C.d. Kirven: The Equalizers". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2016-04-08.