Sunday, May 30, 2010

Public Transgressions

It's been a long while since I've had a blog, or really done much writing at all, so please bear with me.

Local, public men's room. International Women's Day. Body and mind still wired from my second ever testosterone injection, and bleeding thick from my cunt, I enter the space and beeline for the stall. A few moments inside with one foot propped on the door that doesn't lock to block it from swinging in and revealing what I am doing, allow me to remove the Diva cup that I've put inside my body and I emerge, carrying it, and walk briskly past the men at the sink to fling the cup of blood into the urinal.

The drive to create change and the drive to create art are intrinsically tied up in each other for me. It's moments like this in which I allow myself to recognize and express and gain some catharsis for the fear, the shame, the pain, the violence, the frustration, the defiance, the outrage, and anger that I, and so many other trans folks that I've known, experience within these spaces, within these skins, and within the society that constructs and enforces our understanding and experiences of all this. Defying danger calls for dangerous art. It is empowering to face down the threat of fear and violence and danger and rage with irreverence and brutal irony. Call it what you will, but the experience of spilling blood in a public washroom on my own terms felt liberating and defiant and beautiful. I want to call out to other pissed of queers. Let's show 'em right where we are, and that we're ready for 'em.

Niqolai Roadbike Gryphon, Man(struation), 2007.
Photograph taken after guerrilla performance piece.
The artist's menstrual blood in a public urinal.
Print size 10"x15"
Price $90

This work has been selected, to be displayed in public for the first time, by the jury of this year's Kingston Pride Art Show, which will be running from June 1st to June 14th, with a reception on the night of June 3rd at The Artel alongside selected works from other members of the LGBTQ community in Kingston. It's taken me a long time to allow this work to surface to the public eye and I hope that it's well received by the folks who've maybe experienced something along the lines of what drove me to create this piece.