Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Transgender Doll

Just in case you found this post accidentally, or opened it because the title seemed a little shocking - wait.  Don't go.  I want you to meet someone.  Please meet Dianne Nicole Joy.  She is a transgender boy-to-girl doll with a very pensive expression and a [true] story to tell.

This doll was made by me two years ago during a class with Ankie Daanen and Marlaine Verhelst, two wonderful and inspiring Dutch artists.  I usually work in fabric, but I wanted to practice something outside of my comfort zone - clay.  So off I traveled to Florida for the class.  
At the time, I had discovered that someone very close to me is transgender.  
A doll class was a much-needed escape and naturally, my feelings took shape through my art.   It has taken me two years to share, but I feel ready today.  

The doll we were making was supposed to be a harlequin holding a little clown toy.  Understandably,  my doll didn't feel like like playing.  I was in pain.  I was in a LOT of pain.  I was the first person that knew this big secret, and it was very shocking and devastating to me.   My friend loathed himself for it, and that was probably worse than the confusion of acknowledging that he was essentially born a gender that he could not always identify with.   Of course this isn't about me - it's about my dear friend.  I can't go into all the details, but suffice to say that it was absolutely tremendous at the time. 

My doll doesn't want to be a clown.  He wants to be someone else.  He wants to be a girl.  But he doesn't WANT to want to be a girl.  He is very ashamed.   He's not like all the other harlequins.

The doll sits on top of an antique calculator in my home.  I'm a tax accountant by profession and it's part of who I am.  That's why she sits there - because I am a safe person for her and she can trust me.

Instead of holding a toy, my doll holds his feminine self in his hands.  This is because Dianne Nicole Joy hides inside.  She feels pain and can't express it.   She cannot be herself.  

He has a very pensive expression.  He is wondering what to do and how to go on, and pondering other things that only two years later, I have only begun to understand.  

It is difficult for me to share this with you.  Dianne Nicole Joy doesn't follow my blog, and I hope that she doesn't know I wrote this.  It's not that I'm hiding, or doing anything wrong.  I think she is a beautiful person and I can only just begin to imagine what he is going through inside every single day.  I just need my outlet.  I need to share this with creative people like you.

'Transgender' is something that society has only began admitting in recent years.  I am not sure if I am as accepting because of society today or because someone I love is "trans."   It may very well be my own first-hand experience.  Ten years ago I would have thought it was ridiculous, and today I see how real and how serious it is.  I only know one transgender person, and so I can only talk about this one experience.   I am glad I have my art.  I believe that dolls take on the feelings of the artist, and here is living proof.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for letting me share.  Please leave a comment if you can find the time.

Happy dolling!

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