FMP research: trans (masc) artists

Chella Man  @chellaman @chellamanart

Doesn’t talk that much in depth about trans stuff.


‘”Masculinity” has no boundaries. “Femininity” has no boundaries.’


Lou Sullivan


Me looking at other trans artists and creatives: am I looking to find the same, to look in a mirror; or am I looking for something different, a reflection refracted in ripples (Narcissus)? Can you have a dialogue with the same? Can anything ever actually be the same?

Sullivan: ‘I want to look like what I am, but don’t know what someone like me looks like’

Harry Dodge: ‘Don’t you get it? I will never feel as free as you do, I will never feel as at home in the world, I will never feel as at home in my own skin.’

Me: ‘To live as visibly nonbinary is to be hyper visible, but also to exist in the shadowy parts of gender (uncharted?).’

Iconic pioneer in fighting for the understanding that trans men can be gay (for years he was refused surgery because the medical sphere refused to believe in female to gay male transitioning, could not contemplate that he could be trans and attracted to men – they told him it wasn’t possible). Huge activist in the overlapping areas of trans men, gay men and the AIDS crisis.

Video including some words from Lou himself:

[need to read his actual work]

Harry Dodge

It definitely does trans artists a disservice to try to read all their work as primarily related to transness. To simply be trans is not the same as to make work that takes trans discourse as its subject matter.

Feel more inspired/held by what’s written about Dodge’s trans experiences in his wife Maggie Nelson’s book The Argonauts (altho I do have issues with some aspects of the book).

Mere @meretheir

“on changing myself to fit into the world
because I can’t change the world fast enough to fit me
my gender dysphoria stems from the rigid and pervasive gender rules and norms in our society that are constantly projected on me and my body. if I was on a deserted island living in a society without gender roles and labels, I don’t know that I would experience any body dysphoria. I may still admire certain physical traits I saw in people with different bodies than mine, but I’m not sure that admiration would ever manifest as mental health struggles or distress. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
gender dysphoria is a catch-all phrase invented by (primarily) cisgender people to describe the experiences of people who need medical or psychological intervention/treatment related their gender. the medical field is treating all of us who present with gender dysphoria similarly (with hormones or surgery), yet the way gender dysphoria manifests for each person can be vastly different and change over time. There are so many aspects of my gender experience that medicine cannot help with. And though I do not have any regrets about being on testosterone and getting top surgery (because it alleviated emotional pain and affirmed my nonbinary gender during a time when I needed it most), doing so has presented it’s own new set of challenges. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
i often hear trans people who are 5+ years into their transition say things like “I just don’t think about my gender as much anymore. I can just exist and be and not fixate on that part of who I am.” As a non-binary person who exists in a binary world, I am reminded of my non-binary gender every time I step into it. Nature is the only place that allows me to simply be. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
given the way binary and presentation-based gender roles are woven into society, it’s incredibly hard to feel that my non-binary gender is affirmed by it. I didn’t think the world could change fast enough to affirm me (as is), so I did what I needed to do to feel affirmed within myself.”

Schuyler Bailar @pinkmantaray

“This might be my new favorite picture of myself. I have dreamed of being exactly this. Exactly who I am. A male competitive swimmer. For my entire life. And here I am.
Transitions are so complex and hard and wonderful. In many ways I transitioned in the pool & on the pool deck, in plain sight. I am so excited by how much I have grown into myself & my body. Perhaps obvious is the physical shift. But more importantly: when I smile at pictures of myself now, I remember that first day. How terrified I was, so exposed and so new. And I contrast this with how I feel today. Sturdy. Comfortable. Peaceful.”



Do work on representing the trans nude? Is work on the trans body overdone? The nonbinary body?


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