Gosh I bet you’re all SICK of me talking about this exhibition, but please, let me be excited and proud of everything I’ve accomplished!
The day was finally upon us, 14/06/19, the exhibition opened. Everything in place, my work had been up for multiple weeks (I had terrible visions of it somehow falling down or getting damaged before opening day), all that was needed now was the people who were interested in viewing photography.
4:30pm Celebratory drinks.
5:30pm The guests arrived.
I of course hung around my work, my ego needed to hear kind words being spoken about something I finally put into the real-world public realm rather than online. I was not disappointed like I feared I was going to be. Thankfully people actually took time out of their schedules to not only look at my work, but to meticulously read the captions that my wonderfully brave models had written about their trans experience and then reflect upon those words. I heard people asking “is that really how the world views trans people?” and unfortunately all I could think was “yes” and this made me realise that there is still so much awareness that can be done. It appears that within the trans community, these topics are often heard, the hatred seems to be amplified in our ears and we can’t escape it, whilst it is totally possible for cis people to turn a blind eye, cover their ears and pretend that they haven’t heard the unkind, targeted words. They may read the articles within the media of scare-mongering, but it does not affect them and they may not necessarily notice the people that are actually being affected by the words, therefore its easy to forget, however, when it is presented to them in an art/visual form, it is a lot harder to escape. It is happening and there needs to be more to make it stop.
Past the opening night, on 17/06/19 I had a very engaging conversation with an older man, whom I was wary around as I unfortunately haven’t had much luck with the older generation accepting the trans community as a whole, but he was very engaged with the work, had lots of respective questions and was thankful that I had brought light to something that he didn’t quite understand the ins and outs of before viewing the work, but understood that society needed to change further to support LGBT+ people. He left with different sources that he had asked me to direct him to and I felt so happy having a good experience and chat with someone who was genuinely understanding and friendly. It makes me feel as though my work is truly making some kind of difference even if it is just within the local community, for now.
Exhibition opening dates
6 Green Terrace, Sunderland SR1 3PZ