“Hold Me” tunic was created as a way to address the artists’ own experience with their trans and gender non-binary identity, in the context of both public and private restrooms. The experience of using a public restroom for many trans folx, can at times be anxiety-inducing. These spaces force those who are non-binary or gender non-conforming to misgender themselves in order to have access. Yet in private homes, restrooms are rarely gendered, allowing folx to use whatever restroom they please. What sets these spaces apart for the artist, is the presence of bathroom mats, those fuzzy/ragrug/woven symbols of comfort and familiarity. I designed this garment using three different bathmats, each of which has its own weight and feel and texture. Given the heaviness of the tunic, it makes the silhouette of the wearer appear boxy, ungendered. While the weight is comforting, seeming almost like a weighted blanket, the dramatic collar is a provocative reveal that directs towards the tender shoulder and collarbones of the wearer. A touch of vulnerability that draws the eyes away from the politicized body and to the intimate gaze of the wearer. “folx”- a term used to “indicate [queer/trans]/gender-diversecommunity and to denote a politicized identity”(from http://trans-folx-fighting-eds.tumblr.com/post/90860544471/why-do-you-use-the-term-folx-im-curious-about)
all photography & styling by me.
"Hold Me" tunic (materials: cotton, polyester thread)
The experience of using a public restroom for many trans folx, forces them to misgender themselves in order to have access. Yet in private homes, restrooms are rarely gendered-- a truly gender-inclusive space. The artist took woven bathroom mats, an object only found in private restrooms as the symbol of an ungendered space. Using the weight and textures of the materials, the garment obstructs the silhouette of the wearer-- relying only on the wearer's shoulders to change the form.