Here's the start.
My art practice and my gender transition are inextricably bound together. They both grew at the same time, from the same source.(a basement.)
I started moving away from making functional ware half a year into the pandemic of 2020. Around the same time, I began having some Strange Thoughts and due to the isolation of lockdown I was, for once in my life, unable to ignore them.
Through my art I was able to explore these Strange Thoughts in a way that felt safe. I was circling the question, tracing a pattern, seeking to give name and shape to an absence I could not articulate. At the time I did not really know what I was asking.
Here's some of the WIP shots, my first time making all these teeth and eyes. I really enjoyed the feeling of pressing the root of the tooth into the clay and it gives the "gum" a nice bulge.
I was certainly feeling something at the time! I remember getting a message from an old teacher who saw the post on instagram and asked "are you okay?" or something to that effect. I couldn't really explain what I was feeling but I definitely was feeling it.
This is a journal entry from that time.
The mind. I am not a single unified will but an aggregate stack of many interlocking peices. (from) spinal column to frontal lobe, wuth a hearty helping of vagus nerve in microbiome sauce.
Competing wills and contradictory desires (searching for consensus?) (VYING FOR CONTROL. DIALOGUE OR VIOLENCE ISNT IT THE SAME?) I wish that I could |Isolate | Contain | Extract that ((( wicked ))) part of me that seeks to sabotage all I work towards. That
stinking wretched burrowing parasite at the heart of me. Maybe if I create an enticing enough dwelling, a homonculus shell, a vessel for all that evil...
IT. would slither out and I could trap IT. there.
Oh but the fear, if I am able to excise that part
of me would it swallow me whole? Whould there be anything left of me?
Would that I could pour it out, stop it up.
The thing I angush over being the truth of my queerness. Something I was unwilling or unready to accept. I grew up very homophobic, in a very homophobic family, and in a very catholic country; to give context as to why this truth was so hard for me to stomach.
I am writing all this because I want to remember how it all felt in the beginning.
What did I feel like?
It was like...
If in exchange for safety I traded some piece of me away and forgot it existed.
If in an act of self-preservation/mutilation a younger me had placed a great dam between my conscious and subconscious minds.
I was so alienated from myself that when these thoughts came slipping through the cracks, it felt for all the world like messages from ... God? Aliens? Something else, something external to me. And so I had to trap it! Stop up the cracks in the Dam with my fingers like some stupid fucking dutch boy!
It was so much anguish for something that could be so small. Being queer is just this one aspect of myself and I wish that this process of self realization did not have to come with so much grief.
I hope that one day, we will live in a world where being transgender is as notable as being left handed. Alas, until then, if you are out there reading this, please be kind to yourself. And for the rest of you, please be kind to the children.