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This piece is something I've been thinking about for a while now, but only recently was I able to turn the concept into something solid.

After watching an interview with Carman Carrera and Laverne Cox and listening to how they refused to answer invasive questions, instead explaining why those questions where deterring from the real issues of trans people, I was inspired.

When asked to speak about her feelings on the 'genital question' Laverne Cox said this:

"The preoccupation with transition and with surgery objectifies trans people, and then we don't get to really deal with the lived experiences. The reality of trans people's lives is that so often we're targets of violence. We experience discrimination disproportionately to the rest of the community. Our unemployment rate is twice the national average, if you are a trans person of colour its four times the national average.
The homicide rate in the LGBT community is highest among trans women. When we focus on transition we don't actually get to talk about those things."

Interview here: katiecouric.com/videos/orange-…

I got to thinking about how often as transgender people we are asked about our genitals. What do we have between out legs? Have we had an operation? If not, do we want to? Can we show it? Etc.

In my work here, I have taken pictures of my own genitals and pixelated them. I've done this to show but also to conceal. We do not need to talk about our private and personal parts, we do not need to be objectified by them. The same way criminals identities are pixelated often in news reports, I have pixelated these to defer to the real issue of hate crime towards transgender people. (If that makes sense!)

I intend to make these photographic edits into a series of paintings on canvas to further this idea.

Image is Saku Smith aka CreatoreMagico
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:iconbittersuesz:
Bittersuesz Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2016
Very strong piece, excellent concept!
Reply
:iconcambiare-magico:
cambiare-magico Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your thoughts.
Reply
:iconnekophoenix:
nekophoenix Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014  Professional General Artist
You always upload the most powerful and provocative pieces.
I agree with absolutely everything you've said - and do you know, because it's almost so normalised to friggin' ask or be asked "so, you're trans*? Tell me EVERYTHING about how it works down there because I must understand and you are now going to be my human google" you almost forget how inappropriate and downright rude it is to have it asked of you. It is no one's business what's between your legs or how everything works unless you're specifically sharing said anatomical parts with a partner.

One of the first things I often get asked if I'm open about it is "would you change down there? How does that work then?" and it's only really since I've seen this piece that I've stepped back in my head to think "why is it any of your business? If I want to share that information with you, I will, but otherwise, get out of my crotch"
Reply
:iconcambiare-magico:
cambiare-magico Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:hug: Neko thank you for the outstanding comment.

It's very hard when you get asked the 'genital question' to be as bold as we would like to be, and say no to answering it, explaining why it's inappropriate. I think as genderqueer people, we often feel obligated to educate and in a way we are obligated. Even so, every single trans person can't be an activist, some of us just want to live normal lives. We don't feel confident enough to say no to questions and explain why they are inappropriate. A lot of the time I have answered them just because I want people to accept and like me. But we shouldn't be asked those questions in the first place, let alone have to answer them.

Even the nicest most open minded people will still ask all the questions you mentioned. I've recently been rehearsing in my head what I'll say next time it happens, but only time will tell if I go through with it.
Reply
:iconfloridapanther28:
floridapanther28 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
this says so much. 

ah, I heard about that interview. Katie Couric had always seemed like a decent person, too... :( 

Laverne Cox is god. 
Reply
:iconcambiare-magico:
cambiare-magico Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Katie Couric actually made a very good little video saying she acknowledged her mistakes, but left them available to view as a learning experience for herself and others.

Thank you so much for your comment and taking time to look at my work!
Reply
:iconfloridapanther28:
floridapanther28 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, I guess she's not the worst out there. 

Yeah, of course!!! ^^ 
Reply
:iconcambiare-magico:
cambiare-magico Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Even the nicest people ask the stupidest questions. I recently told a work colleague  that I am trans, and even though she is a lovely lady and very open minded she still preceded to ask me the list of nono questions.

"Do you have girl parts or boy parts?" followed by "What was your name before?" and all sorts of things!

I didn't think any less of her. I just explained to her that I didn't answer those questions, taking a leaf from Laverne Cox book!
Reply
:iconfloridapanther28:
floridapanther28 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That's a very smart way to answer. Laverne Cox is the best ever!!!!!! Did you mean that figuratively, or does she actually have a book? I would like to read this book if it exists. 

Just today, a kid three years older than me asked "how I knew." I guess that's one of the less offensive questions, but I personally still put it on the no-no list. :/ 
Reply
:iconcambiare-magico:
cambiare-magico Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Figuratively, but if she had a book that would be amazing! I would buy it in a heart beat and likely never put it down.

I have been asked the 'when did you know' question quite a few times as well. I don't mind answering, in fact I made a journal about it here cambiare-magico.deviantart.com… to go more into depth about my personal experience.

However, I can see how it is a no no question. Any question you wouldn't ask back can be considered one I think.
Reply
:iconfloridapanther28:
floridapanther28 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I love love love Laverne Cox I plan to be her when I grow up 

Hmm. I wouldn't go so far as saying that. 
Being transgender is a bit different from being cisgender. There are a few things that are okay to ask cisgender people, but not transgender people since transgender people are oppressed in comparison. I'm not sure how to explain this well enough. 
Reply
:icondrazzi:
drazzi Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Its like awesome that the thumbnail looks so much less pixalated than the full image dude.

No but seriously. Like I said to you, it's just like "Dude, do you ask other guests how big their balls are? Or if they have hanging labia?" It's just insane to me that transpeople will always automatically get these kinds of questions if they are out about themselves. Insane.

I love the idea behind this piece. I can't wait to see you expand on it further.
Reply
:iconcambiare-magico:
cambiare-magico Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much as always for your comment and support darling. :hug: I was actually really aware of the thumbnail when I was making this. The fact that it exists online is part of the way the image works, because the thumbnail is meant to trick people into thinking they might actually see something, when they wont in reality. Because as we were talking about before, no one has the entitlement to see that just because of curiosity or even want to be educated.
Reply
:iconlb-lee:
LB-Lee Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014  Professional General Artist
Oof, that hits hard.  I feel like there's so much I could say about this piece, but :iconhot-jupiters: pretty much preemptively blasted me out of the park.  What can I say that she didn't already?
Reply
:iconcambiare-magico:
cambiare-magico Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The fact you share her sentiment is really touching to me. Thank you for reiterating her words and for taking time to leave a comment on my work.
Reply
:iconhot-jupiters:
hot-jupiters Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014
I knew exactly what was going on here before I read your intent with it in the description, and it gave me chills.  It's a piece that punches you in the gut right away with the juxtaposition of criminality, titillation and objectification.  The pixelated and "Daily News" elements are so simple and yet very, very effective.  It simultaneously plays on your desire to know what you have no business knowing because it frames the act of reducing a transperson to little more than their genitals as a fundamental human right.  

In America, that fundamental human right is codified in the form of our First Amendment, but it's written into the laws of other countries as well.  "The public has a right to know" is an idea that was derived from our First Amendment, which has translated to this really disgusting culture of society-sponsored bullying disguised as journalism.   It's okay to violate someone's privacy - as long as it's in pursuit of "the truth."   The truth of whether an individual committed a crime... of what's between a person's legs.  

To give even more context of the American climate around these issues right now, I'll link to another case of bullying disguised as journalism that is still fresh in the American consciousness at the time of this piece: www.shakesville.com/2014/01/ca…  This is a summary of what happened in January 2014 concerning an article published in Grantland, a well-responded magazine.  This article was written about a trans businesswoman who committed suicide after the journalist writing the article pried into her personal life and the circumstances surrounding her transition.   There's been a lot of criticism around the journalist, but only after the LGBT community cried out - initially there was praise for the journalist's "investigative efforts."  It is a clear case in which he became obsessed with knowing "the truth" and profiting off of that knowledge.

Anyway, I'll end this by saying that I think you've commented on a really disgusting, culturally-reinforced form of personal invasion that is often troublingly legitimized as a simple "right to knowledge."  And that's very powerful stuff.  Thank you for doing so.
Reply
:iconcambiare-magico:
cambiare-magico Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, thank you so much for that comment. You said even more about what I was trying to say in the image than I could articulate into my description, about the way trans people are perceived like criminals and displayed alongside them as liars in the media all because of that 'right to knowladge' you mentioned. I feel really accomplished that the image made you think of all this, and am so grateful you opened up your knowledge to me as well.


Reply
:iconhot-jupiters:
hot-jupiters Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014
Well-respected, not well-responded! 
Reply
:iconcambiare-magico:
cambiare-magico Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm reading the article right now.
Reply
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