Ryan Coit - Trans equity, servicemen and disabled veterans
Future location: 830 Hennepin Ave (The Saloon)
Subjects (below): Britt Sickmann, Ashley Scott
About the artwork
Ryan Coit chose trans equity as the topic for his portrait, as he has been intimately involved in the trans equity movement. Ryan selected Britt and Ashley because they are community leaders, high-ranking trans-identifying service members, regular patrons of the Saloon and very close friends to Ryan.
He wanted it to be about them. He knows so many will look up at the image and feel their power and courage. He knows this is what needs to happen. When people thank Ryan for putting the banner up, he tells them it was not his project, it is a Hennepin Theatre Trust project. It means a lot to them that we are putting our logo on it and shows that it is not just the Saloon that supports them, but the extended community as well. He said they know who comes to Pride and who supports them all year long. It is a deeply validating and moving gesture that Hennepin Theatre Trust is partnering with the Saloon and giving Ryan this opportunity to use his photography to empower his subjects and tell their story.
Meet the artist
Ryan Coit is an international photographer exploring the human form and the world. For the past several years, his life and photography has been influenced by his involvement in the LGBTQ+ community. Ryan is internationally recognized for presenting images that capture the beauty in all types of individuals expressing their sexuality and identity.
Ryan studied under Kristine Heykants Photography.
Meet the subjects
Britt Sickmann lives in Bloomington and has been serving the in the Army for 12 years. He is a member of the LGBTQ+ community in the Twin Cities, serving as the Vice President for Twin Cities T-Rexx and an associate member of the Twin Cities Sirens. For the first eight years in the Army, Sickmann was a chaplain assistant providing support and care for soldiers. Currently, he is a career counselor, helping soldiers advance their careers. Sickmann is also the youngest openly transgender Sargent First Class in the Army.
He hopes that this photo will show strength and courage. It isn’t every day that we get to see representation from the LGBTQ+ or Transgender community in the military or other jobs that they hold. The fight for LGBTQ+ rights isn’t over yet, but there is a strong community willing to stand up and continue to fight for them.
Ashley Scott is a BIPOC Transgender retired disabled Army veteran. He served for 11 and a half years, including overseas in Kuwait and Iraq, and served in the Virginia Honor Guard. He is going on two years as membership captain for Twin Cites T-Rexx and also second year as Vice President for Twin Cities Spectrum. Scott does a lot of public speaking and fundraising for things that intersect his life like transgender, BIPOC, toxic masculinity, military and unseen disabilities issues. His hope for this photo is that it gives love, strength, courage, and fills that loneliness inside when you struggle to see someone like you. Many transgender people, especially transgender women of color, aren’t safe. Scott stands here to be a mouthpiece and to claim their space.