Ever since I was a child I was raised with the idea that I needed to be identified as strictly “female”, and that my destiny was to marry a male in order to eventually start a family of my own. I was never taught that I was able to step out of those boundaries, and if I did it went against everything that was natural. However, that made me feel more uncomfortable than anything and I wasn’t even sure why. As I grew older and moved away from a strict Christian community, I was able to educate myself more on identity and the LGBT community, things that I never had heard of until the age of sixteen. Once I was presented with these different communities, I now knew what was unnatural: putting yourself into a category in order to fulfill these specific norms. Soon I felt so much less alone and had built the confidence to look inwards and find myself, and to embrace it with everything I had. I felt a tremendous amount of weight lifted off of my shoulders, my insides were able to show through to my outsides, and I finally felt at peace with myself once I accepted my own form of identity. In the winter of 2015 I finally came out to my friends and peers as queer, and someone who didn’t agree with being identified as either female nor male when I felt brave enough to. Everyone has their own reasons for their identity but my reasoning was both personal and political. For as long as I have known, there are ties to the female and male genders that have been established by both of these social and political norms that I do not feel I fall into. Some days I feel more in touch with my “feminine” side, some I feel more drawn to the “masculine”, and most often it is a mixture of both. I do not agree with the associations that are generally associated with the “feminine” and the “masculine”, and believe that no human should have to feel the pressure these gender norms, nor do they have to identify themselves with them.
I wanted to create a series of images that show my emotions while I am feeling more “feminine” as well as images showing those same emotions while feeling more “masculine”. These images are intended to show that no matter what someone chooses to identify themselves as, their emotions should never be looked at as more or less serious regardless of their identity or sexual orientation. I want people to understand that we are all one people, and do not need to classify ourselves or each other into certain categories that have been established since practically the beginning of time. No one should have the power to tell you who you are or who you can or cannot love, because human nature is to embrace your inner self and love whomever you chose to love. Without love and the embrace of identity, human nature becomes unnatural and there are walls that are put up that shouldn’t be there in the first place. I am here to play a part in breaking down these walls and show the world that we are here to feel, to love, and to embrace who we are.