Graffiti by Veronika.
“My gender can be hard at times to describe. It’s what I feel when I wake up in the morning, ‘I’m a girl today’. The simplest way I would describe my gender is anything and everything except a boy. Although I often appear to inhabit a binary gender space/expression, I find great freedom in being non-binary because my gender is mine to define and play around with as I want because I find that normative understandings of what it means to be a girl too limiting and suffocating. I’m not leaving one prescriptive gender to inhabit another prescriptive gender. I see my gender as art. As RuPaul said – We’re all born naked and the rest is drag.” – Alaine
#beyondbinaries is a photodocumentary project focusing on the people behind these identities – gender non-conforming (GNC) peeps in South Africa. GNC people are a growing community in South Africa’s trans* population. Their gender is very different to transgender as they are neither of the binary genders, or a combination of both, or a highly personalised hybrid of genders on the gender spectrum (or even better, the gender constellation), emphasising the fact that there are more than two genders and that gender is less of a stable fact and more of a very personalised, fluid and performative journey.
There are as many different queer identities and terms as there are people in this community, with genderqueer (GQ), non-binary (NB) and GNC being just a few. As the identity is constantly transformative and without a destination, the language used to describe these people is constantly in flux and metamorphosing.
I’ll be collaboratively documenting this community in celebration of the art that is self-identification, the creativity that is diversity, a literal graffiti-ing over the walls of the conventional, in a country ravaged by gender violence based on difference.
Follow the #beyondbinaries project here and at http://www.germainedelarch.co.za/beyondbinaries