A lifelong dream, come true: there is no emoticon to symbolise what I’m feeling, so I’ll stick to multiple exclamation marks. I’ll be going overseas for the first time in June of this year as I’ve been asked to speak at The Philadelphia Trans* Conference, Philadelphia, PA!!! I’ll be speaking on a panel about gender non-conforming/non-binary/genderqueer + identities and I’ll be representing South Africa at the biggest international trans* conference!!!
I can’t fully take in or express what this means to me, except that I have the feeling this might be a HUGE, life-changing rite of passage. To have my work as a trans* art-activist, my brain and my identity affirmed on such a ginormous scale … Wow.
I’d like to thank the following groups and people for playing such a huge part in this journey: Neil Nieuwoudt at Nirox for having the balls and the faith in me to show my gender work at my first solo exhibition; the founding members of CtrlAltGender – Alaine Luna Marsden, Eleanor Van Tonder and Theresa Blom for welcoming me into your group, for opening my mind and for opening the door to the Johannesburg trans* community, making me feel like so much less of a freak and more like part of a family – I love all of you guys, girls and peeps at CAG!; to Ella Kotze for discovering my work on the www and for giving me a chance to exhibit my trans* work at Wits alongside the great trans* activist work of Gabrielle Le Roux, and to Tish White for all of your support, hard work and for inviting me back to exhibit at Wits Pride; to Gabrielle Le Roux for submitting me as a speaker at the Wits Trans* Art-Iculations conference – you’ve been such a huge part of this journey in SO many ways; Haley McEwen – for showing faith in this lapsed academic, time and time again; Leigh Anne van der Merwe at S.H.E. for inviting me to speak at the trans* conference in Cape Town last year – can’t explain how exposing me to a worldwide family of trans* people changed my life; and, to Liesl Bjorn Theron, Molly Blair and everyone at Gender DynamiX for your suppory of my work. Liesl – baie, baie dankie vir hierdie moerse opportunity.
Lastly, to those who know, see and accept me as trans* – thank you, I love you.