untitled tattooing performance (what did you do to yourself?) (2020)

As part of the Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency, 2020, and as a way of exploring the collective societal impulse towards transmisogyny, I asked the public and my community to choose between a series of transmisogynistic phrases in an online poll, the results of which I tattooed on my body in a performance via Zoom and Instagram Live.  Each of the phrases were taken from online messages I've received via various social media and dating apps. I'm interested in how, by tattooing one of these phrases on my body/taking it into my body, I can subvert the sender's original intent, transforming it into something cathartic  and empowering. During the performance I was joined by my partner, artist and academic Cat Haines, for a casual conversation about our experiences with transmisogyny.

"How fucking loud do I have to yell?" (2015)

"How fucking loud do I have to yell?" is a necessary temper tantrum provoked by years of abuse, violence, erasure, and entitlement to our bodies/voices. It is a pathetically weak invocation towards an end that is never achievable – one in which trans feminine and intersex bodies are not treated as monstrous abominations, but as facets of celebrated human reality. We explore the limitations of our voices as they are swallowed up in a wave of screeching guitars and electronic noise; a sonic background whose purpose is to outvoice us. "How fucking loud do I have to yell?" attempts, and ultimately fails, to encourage cisnormative, dyadic, and masculine expressions to shut the fuck up and listen for once.

How fucking loud do I have to yell to get you to even use my real name? To stop apologizing and just do fucking better? To stop killing people like us? Legitimacy is not granted to loud voices. It is granted to experiences that are the most like those in power. Your voice makes me lose mine.

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