Thursday 02/01/24 6:30PM-8PM
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Performances · Exhibition-Related · Exhibition-Related

Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects: A Variety Show Extravaganza

Cover Image:

Artwork: Edie Fake. Courtesy The Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art (MOTHA)

We invite you to a celebratory book launch for Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects from the Museum of Trans Hirstory and Art (MOTHA) at the New Museum! Comedian Murray Hill will emcee a lively evening, featuring a reading by scholar Susana Vargas Cervantes, a screening by artist Banyi Huang, and performances by artists Vincent Chong, Río Sofia, and Chris E. Vargas.

Surveying over three centuries of trans life, this volume brings together a capacious selection of artworks, archival documents, publications, and artifacts. Co-edited by David Evans Frantz, Christina Linden, and Chris E. Vargas, the book is a continuation of Vargas’s MOTHA, a museum forever “under construction” that exists without a building or a board of directors but takes on selective functions of an institution. MOTHA is thrilled to gather a group of amazing contributors to bring the spirit of this project to the stage. Books will be available for sale on the evening of the program.


This program has reached capacity.
A limited number of standby tickets may be available at the admissions desk on a first-come, first-served basis. The standby line will open at 6:15 p.m. on February 1.


Live CART captioning will be provided for this program by StenoCaptions.

American Sign Language interpretation for public programs is available free of charge upon request with three weeks’ advance notice.

For all accessibility questions or requests, please contact

About the Participants

Vincent Chong ( 莊志明 ) is a queer, mixed-race, Chinese-American artist working in Chinese calligraphy, seal carving, painting, drawing, and performance. Their work centers their QTAPI and QTBIPOC community and chosen family. Their work has been shown at SoMad, Center for Book Arts, Bodeguita 718, the Museum of Chinese in America, Site Brooklyn, and Skånes Konstförening, Malmö.

Murray Hill (aka “Mr. Showbiz”) is a comedian, host, and international entertainment phenomenon. When he’s not on stage, he’s on TV in Life & Beth (Hulu), Somebody Somewhere (HBO), and Drag Me to Dinner (Hulu). New York Magazine named him one of the “Fifty Most Iconic Gender Benders of All Time.”

Banyi Huang is an artist and writer who navigates identity, gender, and bodily orientation through 3D-printed sculptures, animation, and queer world-building. A diasporic drifter, Huang locates their belonging in mythologies, the non-human, and personal rituals across mixed realities. Born in Beijing, they are based in Brooklyn, New York. They are currently a NEW INC member.

Río Sofia is a visual artist, arts worker, and organizer. Her recent body of artwork explores forced feminization porn, a genre that fantasizes about experiencing gender transformation through coercion and loss of control. In June 2020, Río joined a small team of volunteers to organize a viral fundraising campaign with Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society (GLITS), an organization founded by trans and sex worker advocate Ceyenne Doroshow.

Chris E. Vargas, a video maker and interdisciplinary artist, is the founder of the Museum of Trans Hirstory and Art, and co-editor of Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects. His work deploys humor and performance to explore the complex ways that queer and trans people negotiate spaces for themselves within historical and institutional memory and popular culture. He is a recipient of a 2016 Creative Capital award and a 2020 John Simon Guggenheim fellowship.

Susana Vargas Cervantes is a transdisciplinary scholar, internationally recognized for her artistic and academic work at the intersections of alternative criminology, visual studies, and queer studies—in both Anglo North America and Latin America. Her research mines the connections between gender, sexuality, class, and skin tonalities to reconceptualize pigmentocracy as a system of perception.


This program is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

We gratefully acknowledge the Bowery Council of the New Museum for its support of Education and Public Engagement Programs.

Education and community programs are supported, in part, by the American Chai Trust.

Endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund; and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum.

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