Kortney Ryan Ziegler

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Kortney Ryan Ziegler
Born (1980-12-15) December 15, 1980 (age 34)
Compton, California, U.S.
Residence Oakland, California
Nationality American
Other names Shane B. Star
Ethnicity Black
Alma mater Northeastern University (PhD, 2011)
San Francisco State University (MA, 2005)
University of California, Santa Cruz (BA)[when?][1]
Occupation Filmmaker, visual artist, writer, blogger

Kortney Ryan Ziegler (born December 15, 1980) is an American award-winning filmmaker,[2] visual artist, blogger, writer,[3] and scholar based in Oakland, California.[4][5] His artistic and academic work focuses on queer/trans issues, body image, racialized sexualities, gender, performance and black queer theory. Ziegler is also the first person in history to receive the PhD of African-American studies from Northwestern University in 2011.

Early life and education[edit]

Ziegler graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a bachelor's degree.[when?][6]



blac (k) ademic[edit]

From 2003 to 2006, Ziegler maintained a popular black queer feminist blog, blac (k) ademic.[7] The blog tackled topics such as gender and sexuality from a young black queer academic perspective,[8] eventually becoming one of the top blogs in the feminist blogsphere.[9]

Ziegler endured much controversy due to his radical stance that positioned the experiences of women of color as the locus of his feminist analysis.[10] Blac (k) ademic went on to receive the award for Best Topical Blog in the first annual Black Weblog Awards in 2006. It relaunched in November 2012 and was nominated for a Transguy Community Award and GLAAD Media Award.[citation needed]


STILL BLACK: a Portrait of Black Transmen[edit]

Premiering in 2008, STILL BLACK: a Portrait of Black Transmen was conceived during the years Ziegler was a doctoral student in the department of African-American studies at Northwestern University. Ziegler and his producer, Awilda Rodriguez Lora, provided the initial financial investment to get the project off the ground. They employed a grassroots fundraising method, using social networking to secure funds to complete the project. Upon release to the queer film festival circuit, the film became one of the most sought after and talked about films representing the trans man-of-color experience, showing to sold-out crowds in cities such as Los Angeles, Toronto, Seattle, Chicago, and Tel-Aviv. The film received an Isaac Julien Experimental Award from Queer Black Cinema International Music Festival and an Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary in the ReelOut Queer Film + Video Festival.

Honors and awards[edit]

  • 2006 Best Topical Blog, Black Weblog Awards - "blac (k) ademic"
  • 2009 Best Documentary, Reelout Queer Film + Video Festival - STILL BLACK: a portrait of black transmen
  • Trans 100 Honoree
  • 2013 GLAAD Media Award Nomination for Outstanding Blog
  • 2013 Empowerment Award, Black Transmen, Inc.
  • 2013 Outstanding Transgender Service, The Esteem Awards
  • 2013 Top 40 under 40 LGBT Activist, The Advocate
  • 2013 Authentic Life Award, Transgender Law Center


  1. ^ http://blackademic.com/c-v/
  2. ^ Vallejos, Jorge Antonio (July 29, 2009). "Portraits of Black Trans Men". ColorLines Magazine. Applied Research Center. Retrieved September 11, 2010. 
  3. ^ Moore, Lisa (September 15, 2007). "thank you". Does Your Mamma Know?. RedBone Press. Retrieved September 11, 2010. 
  4. ^ Sibery, Michelle (September 15, 2007). "Framing race, sexuality". The Chicago Reporter. Community Renewal Society. Retrieved September 11, 2010. 
  5. ^ Robie, Tehea (October 20, 2010). "Kortney Ryan Ziegler's Crying Room". Oakland Local. Oakland Local. Retrieved November 22, 2010. 
  6. ^ http://blackademic.com/c-v/
  7. ^ "blac (k) ademic - critical essays by Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler".
  8. ^ Ziegler, Kortney. "Academic Blogging as Intercultural Exchange". From Where I Sit. Association of American Colleges and Universities. Retrieved September 11, 2010. 
  9. ^ Head, Tom (July 29, 2009). "Top 10 Blogs on Feminism and Women's Rights". Civil Liberties. about.com. Retrieved September 11, 2010. 
  10. ^ De Leon, Celina. "The Segregated Blogosphere". ColorLines Magazine. Applied Research Center. Retrieved September 11, 2010. 

External links[edit]