A Message to Cisgender Artists
by Kat Cassar & Samuel Gratton
Kat-Cassar-Samuel-Gratton-A Message To C

Originally appeared in #EnbyLife Journal

This piece is a collaboration between Kat Cassar and Samuel Gratton, where they reflect on a common trope for cisgendered artists. In such, cisgender artists often focus only on the physical characteristics of trans people. Kat and Sam are both tired of being told that cisgender artists desire to use their objectifying projects to "give transgender people a voice", when they are constantly being silenced. Instead, as transgender people, Kat and Sam have created an mural where they aim to subvert this narrative and create their 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. Their canvas is the walls of an art institution: where the beginning of artists’ practices and art movements happen. And while the walls will be painted over and their mural will be covered, these words are embedded into this wall as an act of their resilience, activism, and their constant effort to speak up and to not be ignored by the very people attempting to silencing them. As they meticulously hand painted every inch of their installation, they become a part of this work, giving themselves and their bodies, as they leave their words embedded in this art institution.


Kat Cassar & Samuel Gratton

Kat Cassar 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.

Samuel Gratton 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.