While contemporary mainstream culture has recently begun opening up to accept and become better informed about transgender people, there is still a need for visibility of Transgender and gender non-conforming youth and their families. One way to educate the public and give voice to their lives and stories is through art, and the Seattle Public Library is partnering with Gender Diversity to bring a unique and moving exhibit, Imagine the Possible: Trans Teens Paint, to the Central library in downtown Seattle, this June and July, then moving the exhibit to the Washington State Convention Center to reinstall at the Gender Odyssey conference, a gathering of over 1000 participants from across the country and around the world, from August 4-7.
“What I love about this exhibit is the teen voice,” said Duncan Gibbs, the art coordinator for the Gender Odyssey conference and one of the instructors who worked with the youth in the exhibit. “The art is informed by the experience of being a teen as much as it is by being trans. The range of subject matter and styles reflects the individuality of the artists. The current bathroom debates hinge on ignorance and fear and a show like this can help. I feel humbled and proud at the same time to see these teens show up and take their place in their broader community, as teens, as transgender individuals, and as artists.”
Transgender youth between the ages of 13-19, primarily from the Gender Diversity monthly support group, participated and contributed art, and the process was documented by photographer Baya Walls, who added background the to the exhibit.
The opening event for the exhibit is on Thursday, June 16 from 6pm to 8pm at the Seattle Public Library Central branch and will offer attendees the opportunity to meet and mingle with the Gender Diversity art team, the artists, and their supporters.
The exhibit will run continuously through August 3rd, and will then move to the Gender Odyssey conference, August 4-7, 2016 at the Washington State Convention Center.