With their debut music project, actor and singer Asia Kate Dillon is making sure that they pay it forward.
The Billions star recently announced that all proceeds from their new EP, Handsomehands, (out now) will be donated directly to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, a leading activism organization for black transgender people around the world. Speaking to Billboard, Dillon said that if it weren’t for trans women of color like Johnson, they would not have been able to find the kind of success they’ve enjoyed for the last few years.
“The visibility and acceptance I found in my non-binary identity would not be possible without the blood, sweat, and tears of trans people, primarily trans women of color like Marsha P. Johnson, who came before me,” Dillon says. “Using my platform and music to bring attention to Marsha, her legacy, and the MPJI is an honor.”
With their first EP, Dillon said it was important to continue representing for the non-binary community, with every song on the project directly inspired by their relationship with their non-binary partner. “It’s important my work uplifts and supports historically marginalized people, but because they are the kind of messages I didn’t know I needed as a young person, and I want them in the mainstream now,” they say. “Art is the thing that cracks me open and encourages me to go on a deeper journey to find my own compassion and empathy and humanity.”
Part of that representation, they add, is about making sure that the historically disenfranchised are not forgotten, especially during times of crisis. “I am in a position of power to echo the declaration of violence against trans women of color in this country as an emergency,” they say. “One which existed before COVID-19, and one which will continue after COVID-19, unless we are prepared to combat the violence against trans women of color with the same vigilance with which we are facing this viral pandemic.”
Check out Asia Kate Dillon’s new EP Handsomehands below: