Spring Issue

Held Together With Stitches

Genre Cover by Paul Deleon

Why is this piece your Trace Fossil?

“This piece is a personal expression of joy and acceptance. Throughout my life, I have dealt with the strain, stress, and sadness of feeling rejected by those closest to me because I am transgender. So much so, that I hated myself for being this way. With all my suppressed frustrations and fear, I created artworks that were cathartic to me as they expressed all that I couldn’t say. My art has developed since then into works that express the joys I’ve found in my life. This piece is a representation of those joys.

I sought to portray a space made by someone who had to scrounge around for materials and use the rejected trash from others to create something new. I use these materials and transform their messy nature into a beautiful peacefulness I made for myself. In my life, I felt uncomfortable enjoying activities that are widely seen as more feminine as it made me feel like I wasn’t a real boy. However, as I learned to accept myself, I embraced these activities made me happy and allowed me to express myself in different ways. In this piece, I depicted different activities such as sewing, cooking, braiding hair, and painting nails, and I additionally expressed these through the use of materials. I used weaved and sewn pieces of fabric, I included braided fabric, and I used accents of nail polish throughout the piece to emphasize these ideas. This piece is a celebration of these activities and the joy I found in accepting them.

“Held Together With Stitches” is my Trace Fossil as it serves as a representation of how I’ve moved through life, but more importantly, it represents the joy I’ve found in accepting myself and finding a space I feel comfortable in. As I navigate life and inevitably face more hardships, I know that I can move forward and find comfort in the things I love.”