Honey Dijon talks being a black trans DJ

  • 19/08/2016
Honey Dijon
Honey Dijon

For Chicago DJ and producer Honey Dijon, being black, a woman and transgender throws up challenges despite the eclectic company she keeps.

She performs around the world alongside heavyweights from the clubbing scene, and has a strong message for her fans - be proud of who you are.

"I come from a very musically rich city - Chicago," Dijon says. "[It's] punk and industrial, with the gay clubs and the black clubs."

With her perfectly beat-matched mixes and funky foot-shuffling tracks, DJ Dijon is a success story. A globetrotter, she is proudly black, a woman and trans. Even in the eclectic industry she inhabits, that's unique. 

"This culture has really morphed to be white, heterosexual, cisgender men," Dijon says. "Which is quite funny because I feel like when Frankie Knuckles died, the last great black, gay DJ died with him."

The difficulties faced by those that identify as trans are well known. It's believed nearly half of trans people under 26 in the UK have attempted suicide.

Honey's high-profile, visible success does matter against a bleak backdrop of statistics that highlight how difficult it can be for trans people to find their place in the world. 

"It's important to be visible to see what's possible," she says. 

"I know a lot of trans women that are sex workers. Trans people have it more hard because we are throwing back in people's face everything that they know to be who they are and the security within themselves. That's what frightens people - I don't need anyone's permission."

Her career has gone from the early days of underground house and disco in Chicago with her mentor Derrick Carter, to international acclaim and working with the likes of Mercury-nominated artist Anohni. 

Channel 4 News