非池中藝術網

坦尼斯

莎拉‧安德魯絲:芝加哥變裝皇后系列 SARA ANDREWS: Drag Landscapes - Chicago

2017|油性筆、丙烯、層板 oil pen on acrylic on cradled board

45x60 cm

作品已下架,如有需要請洽畫廊。

  • Sara Andrews在田納西州庫克維爾長大,她的青春期大部分時間都在南方內陸度過。她的家人來自貧窮的南方人,儘管他們非常努力,但還是經歷了許多艱難時期。Sara回憶說:“我媽媽白手起家,竭盡全力照顧我。 我在成長過程中非常女性化,她卻從來沒有因此責罵我……她讓我玩芭比娃娃,讓我做自己。甚至我父親討厭我女性化的一面,但我媽媽站出來反對他,告訴他這行為是不可接受的。然而,Sara 後來從 10 歲到 17 歲進入寄養中心,在那段時間裡,她搬到了不同的城市和不同的家庭。

    Sara儘管有很多困難,她還是以她所描述與生俱來的叛逆天性為自己奮鬥了一生。“我生來就有這種令人難以置信的叛逆傾向,”Sara說“我記得小時候,我想讓媽媽給我買一個玩具,但她買不起。那時我還是個孩子,所以我對金錢或貧窮一無所知……因此我大發雷霆。當我們回到家時,我拒絕進去,而是爬上我們院子裡的蘋果樹。我在那裡待了一整天直到深夜。爬上蘋果是完美計畫,因為每當我餓了,我就會直接吃蘋果充飢。後來時間太晚了,媽媽叫我下來我還是拒絕,於是她報了警。讓我告訴你,警察來了、消防員來了、甚至神父也來了,他們懇求我下來,我依舊拒絕。他們做的努力還是沒有打退我念頭,我向所有人甚至牧師扔了蘋果。我想起來那時候我才七歲?

    後來,這種叛逆的天性將進一步幫助她與鎮上的幫派份子作鬥爭。Sara 說:“當人們在走廊裡欺負我時,我會先閉嘴,因此他們繼續欺負我。 但終於當我站出來時,我突然有了力量。如果我被稱為同性戀,我會回答“好吧,你這個笨蛋,我是同性戀!!”因為保有原則讓我也成承受最大的霸凌。他討厭我的穿著方式……聖誕節假期前的最後一天,他在走廊裡拉著我說:“不不不,這是不可接受的。你不能化妝或指甲去學校,你不能像這樣來學校。”

    “我不擅長權威,我想那是因為被寄養和必須非常獨立......你不能告訴我該怎麼做。 所以我告訴他我並沒有因為女孩化妝和指甲而違反著裝要求……那是雙重標準。他說“如果某個大個子老傢伙認為你是個同性戀並傷害了你,那是因為我沒有告訴你足夠多的東西來擺脫那些狗屎”時,我走了出去……當然,當我休息後回來時 仍然穿著同樣的東西,他給了我最後通牒,並威脅要因為我的穿著方式驅逐我。最後我選擇不回學校,但我還是拿到了證書。

    然而,Sara 在戲劇和舞蹈中找到了慰藉。小時候,她為媽媽表演節目,經常對辛普森的“歌唱布魯斯”進行對嘴。 後來在高中寄養,她試圖參加芭蕾課,但她的養父母不肯花錢,說“男孩不學芭蕾”。Sara繼續嘗試,並獲得了清潔服務的獎學金。 Sara 繼續上芭蕾課,同時每天打掃工作室。

    也是在這個時候, Sara開始對表演和變裝的產生了興趣。“看到電影《豔倒群雌》改變了我的生活。 因為那部電影,我整個高中生活都在研究變裝皇后。任何我能找到的關於變裝的電影或書籍,我都會閱讀和觀看。 Wigstock(反抗愛滋病的變性裝扮演出活動),Priscilla(3名變裝皇后電影),任何同性戀……我都會研究它。我很清楚,變裝是我想做的事情。

    之後Sara開始每週開車到納什維爾參加“The Connection”的業餘之夜表演。 Sara 說:“你必須早點到場表演……他們只接受前 10 位表演者,所以我致力於提前2小時到達那裡,以便有機會表演。 我們是一個緊密結合的業餘愛好者組織,每週三都會在那裡做變裝表演。”

    Sara就是在這裡搬到田納西州的納什維爾的。“我一有可能就搬出庫克維爾。我聽說奧普里蘭酒店正在招聘。 我去了那裡,申請並得到了這份工作。”Sara 繼續說道,“在返回庫克維爾的路上,我的車拋錨了,但我不能因此自暴自棄。 我收拾好東西,住在奧普里蘭酒店旁邊的一家便宜的酒店裡。 我沒有車與雖然剩下最後的300美元,但我決心在那裡謀生。我最終存了足夠的錢來生存,並努力工作在那裡生活。”

    Sara下定決心成為變裝領域的一部分,她成為表演俱樂部的永久演員。在 Calpernia Addams 和 Austra 的幫助下,她的第一個表演者名字“蝴蝶”登上舞台。“我一開始選擇了《蝴蝶》,因為牠對我來說很有意義。 變裝是一隻蝴蝶, 就好比某人從毛毛蟲蛻變成蝴蝶的過程。

    “蝴蝶”最終開花結果,Sara她席捲了納什維爾。Sara在這裡成為了她想要成為的一切,並結識了她的丈夫泰勒。 從那裡他們短暫地搬到了奧蘭多,然後又搬到了芝加哥。 “我在 Boystown 的 Kit Kat Lounge 到處工作,我知道芝加哥是適合我的地方。這座城市令人驚嘆,因為在芝加哥,你可以隨心所欲地跳脫傳統框架,成為自己想要的樣子。 我們在這裡有很多機會......它是如此多樣化和接受“。

    Sara Andrews 是一名跨性別活動家、表演者、一流的“同性戀者”,最近是她的假髮業務“假髮外賣”的所有者和創始人。在問她她是誰時,Sara說:“我肯定是書呆子。 我光彩照人,但我與眾不同。 我相信魅力,但我不是洋娃娃。 我性格內向,社交尷尬,我肯定可以成為壁花,這是因為我覺得我從來沒有真正適應過,但我在這裡,我是真實的。”

    就我個人而言,在採訪和了解她時,Sara是我見過的最棒的人之一。 作為一名從南方移居芝加哥的同胞,我與她故事的某些元素有關。 Sara 迷人、美麗、迷人……但更重要的是,她是這座城市的跨性別者和同性戀的正義力量。 給她畫畫是我在芝加哥的“Drag Landscapes”系列中最令人欣慰的時刻之一,我很榮幸她讓我聽到她的故事並繪製了一幅她的畫作。

    Sara Andrews, raised in Cookville Tennessee, spent most of her youth in the recesses of the deep south. Her family came from a lineage of impoverished southerners, who despite their best, fell on many hard times. Sara recalls, “My mother came from completely nothing and strived to do her best to take care of me. I was incredibly feminine growing up, and she never scolded me for that… She let me play with barbie dolls and let me be myself. Even when it came to my father, who hated my feminine side.. my mother stood up to him, telling him his behavior was unacceptable”. Sara however would later end up in the foster care circuit from 10 to 17 years old, and for that time period she moved around to various different cities and different homes.

    Sara, despite the many odds against her, fought her way through life with what she describes as an inherent rebellious nature. “I was really born with this incredible rebellious streak,” Sara says,” I remember when I was a kid, I wanted my mother to buy me a toy and she couldn’t afford it. I was just a kid so I didn’t understand anything about money or being poor.. so I threw an incredible tantrum. When we got home I refused to go inside, and instead climbed up the apple tree in our yard. I stayed up there all day and into the beginning of the night. It was perfect because whenever I got hungry I would just eat apples. When it became super late, my mother asked me to come down and I still said no. .. So she called the cops. Let me tell you, … the cops came… the fire fighters came.. and EVEN THE PRIEST CAME.. And they pleaded for me to come down… I still said no. It came to the point where they were making an effort to bring me down, and I responded by hurling apples at them. Yep. I threw apples at all of them,.. even the priest. I think I was seven at that point?”

    Later on that rebellious nature would further help her fight against the homophobic elements of her town. Sara states, “When people would bully me in the hallways, I first kept my mouth shut, and because of that, they kept on bullying me. Eventually when I came out, I suddenly had power. If I was called a faggot, I’d respond “Well duh you dumbass, I am gay!!”… It was the principle however that was the biggest bully. He hated the way I dressed… Last day before Christmas break he pulled me over in the hallway and said “No no no, this is unacceptable.. You can’t wear make up or nails to school… You can’t be like this and come to school looking like this.”

    “I’m not good with authority and I imagine thats from being in foster care and having to be very independent.. .. you can’t tell me what to do. So I told him that I wasn’t breaking a dress code because girls wear make up and nails… and thats a double standard. I walked out when he said “If some big old dude thinks you’re a faggot and hurts you, its because I didn’t tell you enough to take that shit off”.. and sure enough later when I returned after the break and was still wearing the same thing… he gave me an ultimatum… and threatened to expel me for the way I dressed. I chose not to go back to school… and I got my GED instead.”

    Sara found solace however in drama and dance. As a child she’d put on shows for her mom, often doing interpretive lip sync’s to The Simpson’s “Singing the Blues”. Later on in foster care in high school she attempted to take ballet classes, but her foster parents wouldn’t pay for it saying “Boys don’t do ballet”. Resilient, Sara continued to try, and was offered a scholarship by the owner in trade of janitorial services. Sara continued to take ballet classes while cleaning the studio daily.

    It was also around this time that Sara’s interest in performance and drag blossomed. “Seeing “To Wong Foo” changed my life. Because of that movie I spent my entire high school life studying drag queens. Any movie or book I could find about drag I would read and watch about. Wigstock, Priscilla, any thing gay and queer… I just had to study it. I knew seeing this, that drag was something that I wanted to do,… drag was something I wanted to be.”

    Out in Cookeville, Sara started driving out to Nashville weekly to perform at the amateur night at “The Connection”. Sara says, “You’d have to show up early to perform… they’d only take the first 10 performers so I was dedicated to getting there 2 hours beforehand to have the chance to perform. We were a tight knit community of amateurs that would be there every Wednesday to do drag.”

    It was here that Sara moved to Nashville, Tennessee. “As soon as I could I moved out of Cookeville. I heard that the Opryland Hotel was hiring. I went there, applied, and got the job.” Sara continues, “On the way back to Cookeville my car broke down, but I’ll be damned if that was going to take me down. I packed up my stuff and lived in a cheap hotel next to the Opryland Hotel. I had no car, I had 300 dollars to my name, but I was determined to make a life there. I eventually saved enough money to survive and worked hard to live there.”

    Sara, with great determination to be a part of the drag scene, became a permanent cast member at the club she performed at. With the help of Calpernia Addams and Austra, her first performer name “Butterfly” took to the stage with such great ferocity. “I chose “Butterfly” in the beginning because it made so much sense to me. Drag IS a butterfly. It’s someone who is a caterpillar that turns into a butterfly. They turn into something colorful and beautiful.”

    “Butterfly” eventually blossomed into Sara Andrews, and she took Nashville by storm. It was here where Sara became everything she wanted to be, and met her husband Taylor. From there they moved to Orlando for a brief moment, and then to Chicago. “I was working here and there at the Kit Kat Lounge in Boystown and I knew that Chicago was the place for me. This city is amazing because in Chicago you can be as ’out of the box’ as you want to be. There is a lot of opportunity for us here… it is so diverse and accepting”.

    Sara Andrews is a trans activist, performer, top notch “gaymer”, and recently the owner and creator of her wig business “Wig Takeout”. In asking her about who she is, Sara says, “I’m nerdy for sure. I’m polished but I’m different. I believe in glamour but I’m not a doll. I’m introverted and socially awkward and I can be a wallflower for sure, and its because I feel like I’ve never really fit in, but I’m here. I’m present and I’m authentic.”

    For me personally, in interviewing and getting to know her, Sara is one of the most wonderful people I have ever met. As a fellow Chicagoan transplant via the south, I relate to certain elements of her story. Sara is engaging, beautiful, and charming… but more importantly she is a powerhouse of justice for trans and queer people in this city. Painting her was one of the most gratifying moments of my “Drag Landscapes” series in Chicago, and I am honored that she let me hear her story and paint her.

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