Metahuman aka Kalil Cohen began recording and interpreting the world around him at the age of 5, with meticulously detailed travel journals of family trips. With an insatiable drive to make sense of life through rhythm and rhyme, Metahuman soon began self-publishing his poetry, although his grandmother was his only customer for some time. Many years later, Metahuman became known as a hip-hop lyricist, filmmaker, speaker and performance poet, a political dissident, radical transsexual activist, autobiographical confessionalist, outspoken social misfit, friend, lover, and teacher. Metahuman is many things to many people, as he continues to make sense of the world through his art.
Metahuman is a die-hard hip-hop fan, mixing the intellectual roots of his politics with the visceral love of flow to create a unique sound that blends old-school rap metaphors with radical queer politics. With his feet rooted in the 1970’s wordplay of hip-hop godfather Gil Scott-Heron and a head full of 21st century house beats, Metahuman offers up thought-provoking rhymes laced with unforgettable dance rhythms. Metahuman is also a producer and filmmaker, founding the Trans/Giving Film Festival in 2009, the first transgender film festival in Los Angeles. With the arts collective Trans/Giving he produces performance, visual art, and film events in Los Angeles. His award-winning short films, including “Queerer Than Thou”, have screened at over 30 film festivals worldwide including in London, Amsterdam, and Belgium, as well as at academic conferences and in college classrooms.
Metahuman combines advocacy with art by performing at colleges as well as in theaters and clubs. In addition to performances, his residencies include lectures, workshops with youth (including middle school, high school, and college), administrators, and K-12 classroom teachers. His workshops and presentations help organizations and schools to become more educated about and inclusive of transgender people. His work as a presenter and facilitator has a particular focus on the intersections between gender identity and the many other identities that we each hold, including race, class, and sexuality. He has given workshops to graduate departments, high school Gay Straight Alliances, LGBT and Women’s Centers at colleges and universities, and at conferences throughout the United States including at Creating Change. In 2008 he received the Trans-Unity Pride “Pride Award” for his service and dedication to the transgender community.