Artist Spotlight: Sara Swaty

In Swaty's series 'In Between & Outside,' gender is represented as both a fluid, relaxed, and creative expression as well as a more tense and exploratory transition.

BY Christopher Harrity

September 07 2013 4:00 AM ET


Harrison

"I view gender similar to how I view colors in a full spectrum.  No two boxes can hold gender, it's all up for personal interpretation.

"I would identify myself in the wide category of gender as a blue monkey, moose, mostly blue and shades of gray, ever changing, magical unicorn, narwhal, queer as a four-leaf clover, mostly Harrison. 

I began taking testosterone in June of 2011 to feel more like myself. Living as a woman pre-testosterone in others' eyes was annoying, embarrassing, and frustrating. There's only so many times you can switch pronouns and apologize before making things awkward for yourself, not for me. Trying to explain myself and that no one needed to apologize for my experience was just horrifying for the other person — all of these factors just made me dislike myself and how I physically appeared more than anything.  Explaining how my body and voice didn't match up with my head is and was just too much for people to understand — I just ended up getting a confused and disgusted look. The way the male community treated me was that of any other woman, which is annoying whether trans or not. I don't feel like people should be treated any special way because of their sex, and that hasn't changed for me. If anything, I advocate for gender equality more now than before. Before I would try and explain the image of myself; now I really don't have to.

"My sex is still female, and I don't plan on changing that. However, in terms of gender, it is easier for people to identify me as male, which is more acceptable to me. In a perfect world (or Sweden), I wouldn't have people identify me as either pronoun; just Harrison would work fine. 

Life led me to begin my transformation, but it's been a long and slow 22-year process.

"Coming out as transgendered to my friends wasn't shocking to them at all, as they all had watched me grow more into myself. People tend to do that in life; mine is just as different and as individual as anyone else."

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