Mirha-Soleil Ross (b. 1969) is a Métis trans sex worker, performance artist and activist. Raised in Montreal, she moved to Toronto and co-founded the pivotal queer zine Gendertrash From Hell with her partner Xanthra Phillippa Mackay. New issues of Gendertrash were published between 1993 and 1995, compiling original art, poetry, fiction and resource lists, all with the aim of giving a voice to the community.
Ross went on to helm Counting Past 2, the world’s first trans art festival, and developed a number of performance art pieces that sought to educate audiences about the realities of sex work and debunk stereotypes about trans identity.
“I’m hoping one day the queer movement is able to open its political agenda to recognise and embrace struggles that go beyond its immediate boundaries [...] I’m not too optimistic this will happen, but I would love for you to prove me wrong.” - Ross
Meal Trans, the program which she and Tina Strang began, provided services for sex-workers, particularly low income trans-feminine ones. She also started a trans sex worker outreach program — to fight for better conditions for trans individuals and sex workers in Toronto.
Mirha demanded her equal place as a trans woman, sex-worker and as a low income person. These three characteristics had historically caused a wide separation within the community but Mirha refused to be pushed out or stigmatized.
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