• Ashton Blyth

Photographs for Straight White Male

My proposed artwork is a series of four consecutive digital artworks titled Perceptions of Me. The artworks will depict my internal struggle with my gender identity, gender expression and my perceived gender presentation in a society that does not recognise that these are different things.


To create this new artwork, I started by taking the photographs to draw outlines over:


Firstly, I am seen binding my chest using tape. This is something my mum helps me do every week, despite that for the majority of transgender and gender non-conforming people, binding is a private act that is done alone and not something that is discussed publicly. By asking for help, I was able to get the flat chest I so desperately wanted through the combined perspectives of me seeing how flat my chest looks from above, and my mum being able to see how it looks from the side and in front while applying as to whether it’s going on in a way that I’ll be happy with.



Secondly, here I am flattening my chest after I’ve put a t-shirt on. Every time I have a fresh set of tape on, I’ll look in the mirror to see how my chest looks before pulling my t-shirt on and flattening it over my chest. This image captures the worries I have of my binding being noticed by strangers, and even by friends as I don’t want them to look at me and that be the first thing they notice.



Thirdly, me fussing with my hair, considering what it says about my gender: Is my hair too long? Does it look girly? Does the facial hair contradict that? Is my receding hairline showing? I am purposely out of focus for this image where the background is not, to highlight how these thoughts effect my perception of myself as a man. This image represents my self-conscious thoughts about not only my hair, but my gender expression potentially contradicting my gender identity, and people treating me differently because of that.



The final image is of me saying “So what?” to the people who don’t understand the difference between gender identity and gender expression. I could be the person that changes their perception of gender by being myself – unapologetically.