Parker Molloy
December 17, 2014 7:53 am

In 2009, publisher Luis Venegas released the first issue of C★NDY, a magazine he describes as “the first transversal style magazine.” The sporadically issued magazine celebrates “transvestism, transsexuality, crossdressing, and androgyny in all their glory,” has featured the likes of James Franco, Chloë Sevigny, Jared Leto, Lady Gaga, Marilyn Manson, and Tilda Swinton on the cover. Named after Candy Darling, a trans woman known by many for her association with the likes of Andy Warhol and Lou Reed of The Velvet Underground, the magazine’s style and tone is fitting for a woman who burned so brightly in an era of cultural change. This week, Venegas unveiled the magazine’s eighth issue, featuring a powerhouse of trans women gracing the cover.

Described as “The glamorous women who lead the trans revolution,” the cover and accompanying fold-out features Janet Mock, Laverne Cox, Carmen Carrera, Geena Rocero, Isis King, Gisele Alicea, Leyna Ramous, Dina Marie, Nina Poon, Juliana Huxtable, Niki M’nray, Peche Di, Carmen Xtravaganza, and Yasmine Petty. These women are without question some of the the world’s most famous, inspirational, and influential proponents of trans rights and trans visibility. Mock, Cox, Carrera, Rocero, and King, are household names to many, having authored bestselling books, starred on hit TV shows, and launched campaigns for equality. (Earlier this week, it was announced that Mock will be hosting her very own weekly pop culture show on MSNBC’s new streaming platform.)

In an interview with Style.com, Venegas elaborates on the scope and goals C★NDY aims to achieve.

“In 2008 I was already doing Fanzine137 and EY! Magateen, but I always wanted to do a fashion and style magazine,” says Venegas. “I was thinking there were so many in the world, how could one more be different and important? As new, exciting, and relevant as it was to see black models on the covers of fashion magazines back in the late ’60s and ’70s? What group of people deserved to be celebrated? Those were the questions I kept asking myself until suddenly one day the transversal answer came to my mind. I remember hairstylist Jimmy Paul telling me, ‘You have to do it and do it quick, before anybody else does!'”

Later, he reflects on the public’s reaction to the magazine’s first seven issues.

“I’m very happy and deeply grateful that C★NDY has such a loyal and enthusiastic audience,” he tells Style.com. “I think probably that has happened not just because of the subjects featured in the magazine, but also because it has such a glamorous, celebratory, and joyful tone. So, yes, I think it’s something that’s long overdue.”

Many view 2014 as the year society started to take note of trans issues and individuals; earlier this year, Time magazine featured Cox on their cover alongside the words, “The transgender tipping point.” What some forget is that this isn’t the first time mainstream media has taken note of trans existence, declaring that society has reached a critical mass of trans visibility. In 2010, the New York Times wrote, “[James Franco’s appearance on the cover of] C★NDY, it turns out, is but one of the more visible bits of evidence that 2010 will be remembered as the year of the transsexual.” Four years later, the magazine is still highlighting trans visibility, but in an even more empowering way—with transgender activists and role models.

At $70, the latest issue of C★NDY might be outside the price range of many, but with just 1,500 numbered copies of the 350 page work, those who can afford it, should certainly order a copy. It’s rare to see such a large gathering of powerful, influential trans individuals, and it’s even more rare to see that collection include so many wonderful trans women of color. If 2014 is truly the “transgender tipping point,”, C★NDY serves as an appropriate bookend.

(Featured images via.)

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