54, Minneapolis, MN, 2016
American, born 1986
Andrea, 54, Minneapolis, MN, 2016
Gift of the artist
Listen to the Artist Speak About the Work
Another important aspect of my journey is being bisexual and being trans. I actually hid my bisexual identity for a long time after I came out. I thought, “You know, if I’m going to be a good trans person I have to be heterosexual.” Everybody assumes that I’m going to be with a man. Otherwise, why would I transition and do all of this stuff if I’m going to continue to date women, right? So, coming out about my sexuality in the African American community was the most dramatic coming out. There’s this saying, “strictly dickly,” that’s what you should be about. You know, finding a man, but some of these guys are full of shit. They want to hang out at two o’clock in the morning and not be seen with you in the daytime and then they are the main people out here actually murdering trans women because they still can’t deal with their own internal attraction to beautiful trans-identified women. It’s so caught up in the patriarchal, machismo kind of thing.
What advice would I give to young people? Go to school. Understand yourself. Be authentic with yourself. And love yourself. Try to be a productive, contributing member of our society. And guess what? That comes back to you. Get engaged in politics, if for no other reason than your own survival. That’s what we have to do at this point in time. I can appreciate that some people just don’t want to be on the front lines, but support those of us who are, because that’s what’s going to get us our liberation.