Each day I am reminded of the agency some rural, white, cisgender men find in their voices. These voices continue to command overwhelming power in a society that is still poisoned with the ghosts of white supremacy, religious morals, and the blinding light of capitalism. These voices spew xenophobia, racist, and transphobic language that fuels the physical actions of others. Scrolling through my Instagram, I am reminded of this agency: personal accounts of queer bodies being denied a rideshare based on the visual cues of queered expression; stories of friends being assaulted in public spaces because of a catcall gone wrong after misgendering their queered body; continuous news articles about black trans women being killed. I feel a state of uncertainty every time I put on jewelry, act in ways that blur the expectations of my gender, or enter spaces populated by the actions of hyper-masculinity. Brett Erich Suemnicht was born in Clearwater, Florida and received their BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.
Isa Newby Gagarin (b. 1986 Guam, USA) has a BFA in Painting from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (2008). Her solo exhibitions include: Heliotuduc, The White Page, Minneapolis (2016), Occultation, Kiehle Gallery, St. Cloud (2012), Sea of Fecundity, 3rd Floor Emerging Artist Series, Rochester Art Center (2011), When Her Son Flies in the Sky, Dressing Room, Minneapolis (2011), and Beru, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis (2009). Gagarin’s work is published in several artist books.