An Iris Stands Tall – a mother’s journey, a daughter’s transition

An Iris Stands Tall
a mother’s journey, a daughter’s transition

My child began medical treatment to transition from an adolescent boy into a young woman at age sixteen. Although her father and I knew this was a possibility from early childhood, the realization that we were entering a new journey with our child into the transgender world was mysterious and at times full of doubt and grief.

Over the course of three years, my emotions and knowledge of this new world grew and changed. My art integrates my observations, research, experiences and interactions. Expression through art helped me process and understand my child on many levels and lead me to accept and honor my daughter. This is both a vulnerable and proud process for me.

Through my art I explore my journey as I was led to deeper levels of understanding of my child. This is shared within these themes:

Gender Identity, Cultural Expectation
Early Years
Alone
Sadness
Two-Spirit Culture
Judgments
Facing the Fear
Transition
Acceptance
Legal Processes
Joy of Existence

The subjects of this show are derived from live models and photos. Some subjects are based directly from family photos, others from various photos I adapted according to the message of the piece. This show represents both the transgender woman’s and man’s experience although is more representational of a transgender woman. This collection and story has remained private to honor my daughter’s
privacy. She is now twenty one and fully supports me sharing this art project with others. Over the years, I have come to understand that many share this journey. I hope to honor their journey as well.

Annette Sabater

Regional Arts and Culture Council and Puffin Foundation Ltd.