42 Aspects of Gender June 17-23, 2001

Originally Appeared in Transgender Tapestry #097, Spring 2002.

42 Aspects of Gender June 17-23, 2001

Now Deceased.

May He/she, She/he Rest in Peace

by Paedra / Peter Bramhall

Hey, you out there! You brothers and sisters. You in the community who are transgendered and transgifted. WHERE WERE YOU? If you were not going to come, perhaps you should have thought to send flowers, like to a funeral. That, at least, would have shown you cared. That would have been an art happening in itself. All these great bouquets of flowers with best wishes from all these one-named people. It would have made those of us there, those very, very few of us who were there at the Fulton Street Gallery, know someone around the greater Albany/Schenectady/Troy acreage cared about art, cared about a unique event by members of their community.

Maybe this is not really so. Maybe most of you really have no interest in art. Maybe there are things of greater interest than art because art is a woman?s interest. Oops! Am I stepping my high-heel on someone?s toes? Well, I hope so, because what I have seen so far has not proven anything different. Quite frankly, I think most of you care more about what color your socks or stockings are than about art. After all, it?s just a hobby, isn?t it? Not a real profession. Not something you can make a living from.

Am I getting your attention? I hope so. Back to the Fulton Street Gallery Show. A lot of work went into that show.

But, but, but, perhaps the concept was wrong in the first place.
Art has to be out, out there and public. Out there aggressively publicized. You use any and whatever hook you can to get the attention of the media and the public. That means publicity, and lots of it?which for this show, alas, there wasn?t much beyond our community, which didn?t respond and didn?t attend.

And a gallery show in one?s own home town. That?s a threat to one?s privacy. That means a greater chance of being publicly exposed as transgendered. That is the exact opposite of what many of us want. That is why we go away to conferences and weekends to the tip of Cape Cod or wherever.

This art show was a very good idea. It was a beginning point. It was a first! Wow! But in the future, it needs to be held in a high-visibility space/gallery/museum in a city that celebrates art and diversity, where it can be well-publicized, where an art-loving, art-interested public will come. Where the show can get the attention of the media and provoke conversation and controversy.

This I come to another point. How do we support each other? Openly? In our businesses? In the arts? This is life beyond our problems!

Attention, sisters and brothers. Since the long story about me in Transgender Tapestry nearly four years ago, I have not received a single inquiry about my art glass, not for home, not for your office, not for a wedding or holiday gift. Oh, hell, I know you?re more interested in how big your chest is or how flat your chest is now.

Hey! We need to be more interested, now more than ever, in each other. Perhaps Tapestry could put together a list of those business run by those who are transgendered and out and proud so we can purposefully support them. We need to support each other. We need to be in contact. And we need to support our business and our artists.

Let?s be truly proud of our transgenderedness. It is a gift. We can and do see differently than much of the world. Let us celebrate that difference. Let us get out of our damn closets and award the world with our goodness, our giftedness, our caring, our love, and our diversity.

The next time you hear of a transgender art show in your town, in your back yard, send flowers and condolences to TARIP (Transgender Art Rest in Peace).

Paedra Bramhall can be reached at P.O. Box 18, Bridgewater, VT 05034.

Some years ago an editor of a community publication spent a great deal of time and energy blaming others for their lack of interest in her product. Eventually the magazine folded and she went off into the sunset, where, one hopes, she found happiness. Perhaps, if the interest isn?t there for our products, we should take it as a lesson from the universe and not blame others. We?re happy to have featured the gallery show 42 Aspects of Gender in Transgender Tapestry #96?Ed.