Half of my life, I’ve been out as transgender and living in a way where I feel more comfortable in my own skin, but this does not negate the first half of my life. #HelloMyNameWas is about having ownership over my whole existence and being proud of my journey.
#HelloMyNameWas is a video that reclaims my entire life through morphing images of my face through over 40 years’ time. As a transgender person, I was taught that I should have shame about my history. I was taught I shouldn’t tell anyone my birth name, and I should appear as though I’ve had the same gender experience my entire life.
Digital media is one of the most powerful tools we have for communication. I began working in digital media in 1995, when I was living in Olympia, Washington. I was immediately drawn to using video for storytelling. Working in video helped me find my voice when I had none. This interest has since expanded to working with installation, immersive, interactive, and large-format media.
#HelloMyNameWas is part of a larger digital memoir I am working on. Bodhi Life: A Transgender New Media Artist’s Digital Memoir is an ongoing project that is about accepting ourselves as complete human beings no matter what. I have lived, and continue to live, a very interesting and unique life that is filled with taking calculated, and sometimes not so calculated, risks. Bodhi in Buddhism is about the true nature of things. Bodhi can also translate to mean “enlightenment”. It is my believe that living our lives to our fullest potential and completely accepting our truth of our journey is the path to happiness. It is my hope Bodhi Life will help others, both cis and Transgender people, to find more acceptance of themselves.