Value Unknown

Solo show at Cool Change Contemporary (November 2020)

Catalogue Essay

Testogel, (an alternative to testosterone injections), often costs $500 per month in the USA. Here, it cost me two privately billed doctors’ appointments, one psychiatrist visit, and now, about $41 every three weeks. I have been extremely lucky – and hugely privileged—that my experience so far has been quick, that I have been safe, and that I was able to pay for these things. However, my future costs are endless, evolving, and shadowy at best. This scares me.

The cost of being a trans person is high. Monetary cost, emotional cost, physical cost, the cost of life and the cost of loss. Dysphoria and euphoria cost. Being terrified in bathrooms costs. Being harassed, threatened, and killed costs. How does it feel to pay for your body?

How does it feel to not be able to do so? How does it feel for your body to be denied, despised, fetishised or medicalised? How does it feel to exist in transformation?Using alternative materials and form as body representative, Value Unknown is a sticky conversation between many forms of cost, sterility and harshness of medical space, the visceral and emotional parts of transformation and most simply, trans experience.

I acknowledge that there are infinite ways to experience transness, and this is just mine. I also acknowledge that the largest and most intense cost falls upon Black and Indigenous trans women. I acknowledge their endless leadership, beauty, effort, and importance within the LGBTQIA+ community, and to the world. Our lives would not be possible without them. No peace until they are safe and supported.

Full catalogue at:

all above photos credit to Mayma Awaida

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