Artist Statement: Steeped in San Francisco’s rich drag culture and history of queer provocation, #femmasculine mines the polarized terrain of gay male identity. The project brings together the hyper-masculine and -feminine, examining how physically and imaginatively inhabiting these roles both harms and protects us. I want to present this work to the public, beyond the white cube and the nightclub, because its time for the world to experience and understand a feminine masculinity.
As a naturally flamboyant boy, I constantly policed my mannerisms, speech patterns and thoughts for anything sounding too “gay;” usually boiling down to feminine behavior – don’t be so swishy, hold your hands in fists, lower your voice. I spent my youth and the majority of my 20s seeking to become as butch as possible – hoping to be valued in gay communities that prize masculinity, above all else. And then I tried drag. At first, I didn’t get the “high femme” thing and developed a cutesy character devoid of depth; then elements of my drag wardrobe began to find themselves in my everyday attire – making me question why I had placed such a value on masculinity and why I had been suppressing my own femininity for so long. #femmasculine seeks to uproot gender assumptions and promote genderqueer, genderfuck and non-binary identity as a new norm.
Similar to my other projects, I am taking a maximalist approach to creating content for #femmasculine and utilize multilayer videos and vivid photography to catalogue feminine/masculine and examine hybrid identity.