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