Chris Corsini wears many hats. The 2021 Out100 honoree is an artist, tarot card reader, energy healer, and ASL interpreter who fights for the inclusion of deaf, LGBTQ+, and BIPOC folks in the spheres of arts and astrology. Corsini’s regular horoscopes and meditation workshops have garnered thousands of views on Instagram and YouTube, as has his work as an artist.
In addition to ASL interpreting live performances of music stars like Jay Z, Taylor Swift, Shawn Mendes, and the Jonas Brothers, Corsini has released tracks under his artist name MDL CHLD like “Funk (About You),” which feature queer, deaf, and BIPOC folks from around the world in front of and behind the camera. (Corsini is gay but not deaf.) He created this extraordinary production in the midst of a global pandemic with the help of green screens, video conferencing, and ASL interpreters.
As Corsini summarizes, "The largest obstacle we faced was trying to navigate the pandemic, while living overseas, and working with deaf talent located around the world. We couldn't easily travel so luckily my team and I organized video conferencing, real-time ASL interpreters, and greenscreen keying that helped us solve the problem by editing it all together in post-production."
Despite all the hurdles, the former competitive dancer describes this work as “absolutely necessary.”
“We strive to normalize accessibility in everything we do by working with deaf community members (specifically from the LGBTQ+ / BIPOC communities) to create accessible music, art, and online content; representation is always a priority in our music videos,” he says. “The work we do is not only deeply nourishing to the mind, body, and soul, it’s also fun, inspiring, and thought-provoking.”
Corsini will be bringing this inclusive spirit to his next music video shoot in Lisbon, Portugal, which will interpret the song’s lyrics into sign language woven into dance and choreography. "More accessible music and video content!" exclaims Corsini, adding, "We did this for live performances, but now we're taking it to the screen!"
This year, he also received the Well+Good Changemakers Award for his contributions to wellness and relaunched his website, Inward Boutique (inwardboutique.com), which offers access to workshops, classes, and products. "It was nice to be recognized as someone who inspires conversations and promotes positive change by providing accessible and inclusive online content, healing workshops, and inclusive music and entertainment," he says.
A version of this article appeared in Out's 2021 Out100 issue, which is on newsstands November 30. Since this is also Out's 300th issue, we are running a $3 promotion for a one-year subscription. Subscribe now (the promotion ends on December 1). Otherwise, support queer media and subscribe outside of the promotion — or download yours for Amazon, Kindle, Nook, or Apple News.