Book Excerpt ( Why I created My Vagina Paintings )
I must have seen the Monologues at least a dozen times, if not more, and heard how my sisters spoke of their vaginas, what they had been through, what they had experienced. It gave me the courage to speak of vaginas from my perspective, to show vulvas through paintings, in my art.
I embarked on a series of pieces that I shared with all. I believe in the beauty, strength, love, warmth, passion, birth, power, and heart of vaginas. I believe that they can speak to all things and that we, as humans, need to listen to their voices. I had to do a lot of research, photoshoots, and work with models to make the project happen.
This didn’t come easily for me as I wasn’t born with a vagina, I never knew what it was to menstruate, didn’t have a female reproductive system, and had to earn mine/claim mine back with every ounce of strength that I possessed. I was born with a male looking body, was assigned male at birth, and led a life of being in a hell where I was, for all intents and purposes, an invisible female, a ghost of she to be. I remember being mortified at the male parts of me. I could barely look at myself. I would be so thrilled to have the appendage removed that simply didn’t belong to me.
I have been different in my head from childhood. I sensed early on that I was not like other boys, didn’t get their games or attitudes, how they thought and reacted to life in general.