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Speaking of Stories Part 3: Gender

Jules Williams

This piece is a tribute to trans people, especially trans women and nonbinary people of color. I don’t know if there is another group of people who are listened to less or whose stories are so seldom told. If you only listened to what was in the news, you’d hear of people talking about trans people in an “us” vs. “them” format, and you hear of so many hardships that you’re almost desensitized to that pain. While there are many stories of trans people (predominantly women) in the media, unless you’re seeking out truly firsthand ones, the voices that tell them are not uplifted in the way that they should be. I wanted to make this piece as a celebration, one that shows the beauty, vibrance and power that the trans community has. This is loosely based on one character from the FX show Pose (Angel) who is a trans woman portrayed by a nonbinary actor. If I had the time or opportunity I would make sure to highlight all the different kinds of people that come together to make up the LGBTQ community because there is so much diversity and so many people that deserve to be uplifted. 

Julia Smith

Often teenage girls are seen as being shallow and dumb. People will constantly make fun of and joke about stereotypical habits teen girls have, like shopping, makeup, or social media. Teenage girls have almost become a universal thing for everyone to make fun of, and people present them as caricatures of human beings: idiotic, vapid, rude, and overly vain. I portrayed this narrative in my piece, by showing a pretty teenage girl, who’s been stripped down to her base self. I drew her in bright pink, as that is the color most often associated with femininity. I drew her brain and eyes in blue, a color that normally is associated with masculinity. I made this choice because intelligence and observation, things that one does with their eyes and brain, are normally associated with characters that are more masculine. My piece is supposed to convey a feeling of hopelessness that some girls feel, of not wanting to be overly feminine or overly masculine, and living in a state of fear that they’ll be made fun of for being either. Her brain is exposed and her hair is wispy and falling out because while everyone tries to separate the masculinity and femininity inside her, the stress and anxiety of it all are literally tearing her apart.

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