Mural on a white wall written in all caps in black text, stating the following: Trans people are more than just their bodies, more than just their medical transition or whether or not they have medically transitioned. Their worth is not determined by how “trans” they are or the fact that they are trans. Trans people are not specimens. They are not to be examined, studied, or catalogued. Trans people are people.

A Message to Cisgender Artists by Kat Cassar & Samuel Gratton

Mural on a white wall written in all caps in black text, stating the following: Trans people are more than just their bodies, more than just their medical transition or whether or not they have medically transitioned. Their worth is not determined by how “trans” they are or the fact that they are trans. Trans people are not specimens. They are not to be examined, studied, or catalogued. Trans people are people.

KatSam1

Photo of a person on a ladder painting a mural in black text on a white wall.

About the artists

Kat Cassar (they/them) is a queer, non-binary, lens-based artist located in Toronto, Canada. Their work incorporates archival and documentation techniques through film photography, installation, and text. Kat often focuses on creating an installation consisting of audio, video, and sculptural elements made parallel to their photography. Their work focuses on themes of identity and representation, by exploring the roles of language, media, and the objectification of transgender bodies. Follow Kat on Instagram @kai.shoots.film

Samuel Gratton (he/him) is a transgender queer artist who works primarily in lens-based media. His work is based in self-portraiture as he explored his identity, as a transgender male. His practice focuses on themes of gender, sexuality, and identity. Working with archives as well as various analogue and experimental processes, Samuel uses his practice to vocalize himself while creating a space for discussion and understanding of issues within the LGBTQ community as a whole. Follow Samuel on Instagram @samuelgratton.

Photo of the two artists Kat and Samuel hugging in front of their mural/installation art piece, black text written on a white wall.

About the art

Original location: An art institution in downtown Toronto.

About: The piece is a 20ft by 8ft mural titled A Message to Cisgender Artists and it is was created in collaboration between Kat and Samuel.

“We are both photographers working and living in downtown Toronto, Canada. The work is titled: A Message to Cisgender Artists, as we spent the last few months reflecting upon a common trope for cisgender artists, that is to create work about transgender people, but only address the person for their physical characteristics or medical transition. We are both tired of being told that these projects exist to give trans people a voice when we are constantly being silenced. As a result, we have chosen to subvert this narrative and create our own – making it very clear that work centred around this trope is perpetuating harmful stereotypes by encouraging unsafe ways of looking and interacting with trans people.”

Mural on a white wall written in all caps in black text, stating the following: Trans people are more than just their bodies, more than just their medical transition or whether or not they have medically transitioned. Their worth is not determined by how “trans” they are or the fact that they are trans. Trans people are not specimens. They are not to be examined, studied, or catalogued. Trans people are people.

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