Blog / 2022 / Holding onto a Rainbow

June 22, 2022

[video transcript]

This video explains my genderfree journey a bit more, and I talk about my feelings about hyperrealist art in this post. Some of the footage for the video today was filmed by my favorite person.

Squirrelly Rainbow is not for sale, but there are prints and pretty things with this image here in my print shop.

squirrel clinging to a rainbow painted by Lambertville artist Gwenn Seemel
Gwenn Seemel
Squirrelly Rainbow
acrylic on canvas bag
12 x 16 x 4 inches

Trompe-l’oeil has never been my thing. Faking people out with three dimensional paintings of an object that’s not there does not interest me, either when I’m viewing art or when I’m making it. Besides, my style of painting with its obvious brushstrokes doesn’t exactly lend itself to tromp-l’oeil. It’s just not realistic enough.

But then I had this idea to paint a squirrel on a tote bag, and—I don’t know—something about making it look like the critter was hitching a ride on a rainbow really amused me, so I ran with it. And it wasn’t until I was well into painting the squirrel that I realized that she was me.

What I mean is that I’m a low-key genderfree womanish person whose intimate partner is a cis man, so I pass as entirely straight and completely cis very easily. It’s to the point where, for years, I didn’t feel like I was allowed to claim my queerness. For many straights, it would seem like I was looking for attention. For some gays, it would seem like I was taking space that wasn’t fully mine.

But as I claim my genderfree status more and more, I find I don’t care as much about what either those straights or those gays might think. Being me as much as I can be matters more. And as I explore the in-between, I find I’m not alone. Bisexual people have long been frustrated by the way both the super straights and the binary gays reject them.

The straights often characterize bisexuality as “greedy” even though I know no group of people greedier than the hegemonous heterosexuals when it comes to owning all of culture and ensuring that it only ever reflects straightness. And the gays sometimes see bisexuality as “immature,” like the bi person hasn’t figured themselves out yet. This, despite the fact that homosexuality itself is still often portrayed as that thing people are supposed to experiment with early in life, but then give up when they become a serious adult.

In a lot of ways it feels like the conformist straights and the orthodox gays have more in common with each other than with the rest of us. It’s a little bit funny and a lot annoying, but they’re not everybody. I’d guess that there are far more of us inhabiting the in-between: the not-quite-binary, those leaning towards pansexuality, and everyone else who may or may not pass, but who’re holding onto the rainbow to see where it takes them.

This video is made with love and microdonations from my community!

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


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