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Could a world exist in which people are not perceived through the lens of the binary? "If I Was Your Child" investigates gender fluidity, the male gaze, and queerness through performance and installation.


I spent the majority of my early life feeling and despising the weight of being expected to want to be the "girl" that attracts the male gaze. After coming out as gay and trans-non-binary, I realized how much of that was social conditioning constantly being engrained in my being that my existence is ultimately for male approval.


Even in queer relationships, people try to relate the relationship dynamics back to heterosexual relationships which typically are very male-centered. Questions like “who’s the boy?” and “but how will you have kids?” come up. Going to restaurants and having waiters automatically split our checks without asking has become a norm. Then you add the layer of wanting to just exist as a person, neither male nor female, and people can’t always comprehend that.


Moving to the Midwest during a global pandemic only made this feel more daunting. I kept thinking "have I been conditioned to believe people are more likely to dislike me for my gender expression and sexuality? Could a world exist in which people are not perceived through the lens of the binary?"


I hope this work will inspire my viewers to think more critically about the binary structure of gender. Why do those norms exist? Where did they come from? Do they truly serve us? Could we, as a society, get to a place where it is normalized to ask for the pronouns of others before assuming them?

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