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Gender Treason Opening

  • Leedy-Voulkos Art Center 2012 Baltimore Avenue Kansas City, MO, 64108 United States (map)


GENDER TREASON: The bravest act of defying culturally imposed stereotypes surrounding sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Gender Treason” is a yearlong project which involves documenting the various realities of queer persons living in Kansas City through in person interviews which will be photographed, recorded, transcribed and painted in oils. Upon completion of an interview I will transcribe the key elements, which will be printed and framed next to a large scale oil painting I will create of the subject being interviewed. The aspiration of this project is to reshape the perception of queer people in Kansas City in a constructive and powerful way. 

There is a cultural shift happening in the United States. I believe that the nation is awakening to the shared human experience and beginning to seek the perspective of those who live differently than the previously defined "social norms". I see this in the Supreme Court ruling on the legalization of gay marriage in June 2015, in the media explosion and public acceptance of Caitlyn Jenner, in the celebration and celebrity status of our sisters in drag, in the nationwide mourning of the senseless losses of our LGBTQIA brothers and sisters, and in the ongoing conversation and legislation surrounding gender identity and sexual orientation. I am compelled to commemorate this historical awakening in collective consciousness, and to cultivate a platform for queer persons within Kansas City (and the entire country/world) to share their largely unheard stories, one at a time, while people are more receptive than ever. 

The world is also suffering from a misinformation overload. Opinions are wildly toted as fact which result in the loss of equality, safety, and peace of mind for those whom live their truths. Discrimination and ignorance are rampant and I feel a social responsibility to bring light to the human experience of queer people. I've asked myself, "what can I do?" Is the problem merely a lack of perspective? If so, how can I use my art to shed light on the queer perspective? It is in the dwelling lack of perspective that ignorance and fear is bred.

Earlier Event: June 16
WAR Slam
Later Event: July 6
Kansas City Poetry Slam