Want To Be Need To Be

This was my largest painting to date. A 12′ triptych involving 90 hours of work over the course of a summer.

As a trans woman in a family and world that doesn’t quite accept me, I still must “be the guy”, as has been frequently requested of me.

Want to Be Need to Be - Center

My immediate family love and accept me, but it’s difficult for them. They are super conservative in their beliefs and politics, and are very religious. They really do try, but it’s still held at arms-length.

When it comes to family gatherings it is always asked for me to “be the guy”. Tie back my long hair, wear a nice mens polo, slacks, and no makeup. Fine. For them, I am willing to capitulate and make these sacrifices.

Want to Be Need to Be - Left

Before this painting was made, I spent the better part of the year unemployed. I was looking for work as female. I would fill out my applications with the appropriate gender, have my female name on my resume, but when it came to interviews, I would never hear back afterwards.

The one time I put it all aside and interviewed as a male, I got the job. Fuck.

So this painting is dedicated to the role I continue to find myself having to fill, and the roles around me that I wish to fill.

Want to Be Need to Be - Right

Nice orderly women’s shoes line up next to me. They are my dreams and desires, and they rapidly pile up and out of control. One or two male shoes can still be found in the mix. They’re the constant misgendering that seems to doggedly follow me every day, despite my best efforts.

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