GIRL, BOY, EUPHORIA (Photo series)
In GIRL, BOY, EUPHORIA I use essentialist ties between gender and colour to explore the conflict between my gender identity and how I am gendered by others based on aesthetics or surface impressions. Touching on themes of fertility, life expectancy, body dysmorphia, passing, I use ‘gendered lighting’ – reflective of essentialist ties between colour and gender – to emulate being misgendered as a woman or a man. In the final photo of the series, EUPHORIA, I combined both blue and red lighting to depict my desire to be viewed as an eclectic mix of what is constituted masculine and feminine while existing as neither one nor the other. Ace Lehner’s work studying trans self-imaging praxis guided me to focus on what they describe as ‘internal feelings’ of trans identity; allowing me to set free the impossible task of visualising my complex and fluid gender identity in a single frame. This internal feeling of gender euphoria, for myself, is depicted in EUPHORIA not by certain aesthetics, but by joyous movement where my non binary body can extend into space unrestricted by the traditional binary parameters of gender identity. By articulating trans subjectivities and disrupting hegemonic practice in self-portraiture we can begin to dismantle the cisgender-heteronormative gaze that perpetuates violence against transgender and non binary bodies.