From Canada, but currently based in New York, USA.
q: I like your series “M/F?”, what were some of the reactions of the subjects that had to cross-dress?
a: It really varied from person to person. Some were obviously uncomfortable, especially while walking outside, and others really stepped into the role as a character. One of them in particular developed a full personality for their masculine side, and it was only when her binding started to slip that and the character became momentarily broken that there was any discomfort.
q: Your series “Transcending Identity” deals with transgender people. What’s the difference between transgender and transexual people? Is there even a need to differentiate them?
a: This plays much more into the idea of identity politics and the evolution of language (specifically within oppressed communities, though I shudder to use that word), than it does on a set definition. While the word ‘transsexual’ often implies that the person either has gone through, or plans on going through, some sort of surgery to alter their physical self, while ‘transgender’ is much broader. This is often used as an umbrella term for people who may not feel the need for surgery (or want some and not others), or are non-binary, meaning they don’t identify as either male or female. Even ‘transsexual’ has opened up a lot more in recent years though, and it is now generally seen as a transgender person who identifies within the binary, with or without a want for medical alterations to their body (hormonal or surgical). The topic of how people identify is definitely a complicated one, and it’s an extremely personal thing that’s a little hard to give a hard-and-fast answer on.
q: Why all the interest in gender and identity?
a: I personally identify as genderqueer (one of those non-binary identities somewhere under the transgender umbrella), and have been in the process of moving around on the gender spectrum since sometime in high school. Figuring all this out has been a huge part of my life, and besides a basic interest in queer and feminist theory, there’s an importance to me in community. Having just moved from Canada to New York to study, I really based this newer project off finding a community here, not necessarily though daily contact like friends at school, but through some sense of shared identity and experience. That’s what I think my work is really about.