IF I WAS YOUR CHILD
I want to be considered a:
Could a world exist in which people are not perceived through the lens of the binary? My work is currently investigating gender fluidity, the male gaze, and queerness through the language of performance and installation. I spent the majority of my life crafting myself to be the “ideal female” that attracts the male gaze. After coming out as gay, I realized how much of that was social conditioning constantly being engrained in my being that my existence is ultimately for male approval. It became interesting to me that even when I date women, people try to relate the relationship dynamics back to heterosexual relationships which typically are very male-centered. Questions like “who’s the boy?” and “but how will you have kids?” come up often. Going to restaurants and having waiters automatically split our checks without asking has become a norm. Then you add the layer of wanting to just exist as a person, neither male nor female, and people can’t always comprehend that. I find myself hyper-aware of the way I’m being perceived, and at a time where adversities are high with the upcoming election, I find myself more paranoid that the looks I’m receiving, especially from men, are negative. Are they negative? Or have I been conditioned to believe people are more likely to dislike me for my gender expression and sexuality? This got me thinking, how can gender performance aid in feelings of safety, and is it true safety? Could a world exist in which people are not perceived through the lens of the binary?
I hope this work will inspire my viewers to think more critically about the binary structure of gender. Why do those norms exist? Where did they come from? Do they truly serve us? Could we, as a society, get to a place where it is normalized to ask for the pronouns of others before assuming them?