Zie-ippy Skate Bots
Roller skates are an iconic symbol of youth. Personally, they represent the turmoil I felt as a teenager. Skating at malls, roller rinks, and school gymnasiums was a popular social event in the 80’s, I didn't care for it, at all. It wasn't really the skating that I disliked, it was the social interaction, or lack of, that I found difficult. Roller skating was an arena of sexual tension, gender conformity, and emotional discomfort, triggered by hormonal changes.
Sexuality and gender identity, is a huge aspect of the human experience, and begins in adolescents. I am a straight cisgender individual. Although, I didn’t always know this, as I posses a combination of traditionally defined female and male emotional qualities. Now, I treasure this aspect of my personality, as a teenager, it was difficult for me to navigate and understand. I am grateful for those persons who saw value in these qualities. As a result, I have become extremely grateful for the strength and tenacity of the LGBTQ community, all open minded/hearted individuals, and today’s youth. These amazing people are standing up and showing humanity that exclusive binary cisgender sexuality and emotional conformity is harmful to humanity and our world.
For me, roller skates are an ideal visual form to honor the confusion of my own teenage years, as well as, pay homage to today’s youth. Within these tea-bots, I interchanged pink and blue. Which, I hope confuses the genders and sexual orientation implied in these sculptures. Of course, western culture’s use of pink and blue, to represent gender, is an over simplification that perpetuates the binary and exclusivity within our cisgendered obsessed society. However, I am hopeful that some day, gender and sexual multiplicity will be accepted and treasured. If we are to have any chance of continuing to live on this planet, it will be because of our youth, and those who support them, who posses emotional intelligence, openness, strength, and love.