Gender in Art
Updated: Jan 25, 2021
Yo sé quien soy.
Not to be pretentious, but I've loved Don Quijote ever since I read it in high school. Something about his complete confidence in his identity, unshackled by the expectations of society. He's not pure, he doesn't add a lot to society, and he certainly isn't successful (even by his own standards). But he is sure of himself and the life he lives.
I've always struggled with my gender identity, and only recently have I realized how that turmoil manifested throughout my life. Confusion over sexuality, how I perceive myself, how I feel about how others perceive me. Discontent always bubbling under the surface, escaping as anxiety and disorganized thought. No boxes fit how I felt. No after school specials addressed this conflict. I was frustrated and anxious most of the time but it was nebulous, undefined. Nothing I could put words to. Until recently.
Like most of the great epiphanies in my life, it had no catalyst, no great climactic moment - but rather a serene understanding. An acceptance that all the stress built up over decades was rooted in not knowing who I was. And now...I still don't know! But I can find peace, love and joy in the fluidity of my existence.
This project was to express just that: the push and pull of what my relationship to gender feels like. The good and bad, the joy and pain, the discomfort, wonder, acceptance and loneliness. Because although I am happy with who I am, there is always still turbulence.
All that to say, it has been a journey to get where I am and I imagine it will keep evolving over the course of my life. I am learning to find joy in that evolution, to love the contradictions that define who I am. I like being androgynous, feminine, masculine, and everywhere in between, just as I know I love women, men, and everyone in between. Don't get me wrong, there are still days that I get exceedingly frustrated trying to get dressed when I feel particularly indecisive or ambiguous. There are still weights that pull at me, doubts that corrode the edges of my comfort zone.
Yo sé quien soy.
Maybe not quite. But for the first time in my life, I'm listening to who I am. Listening to what may heart and soul truly want. Feeling comfortable in this body and my place in the world. And it's been a really great place to start.
See the rest of the work in this series here.