Trans Activist Skylar Kergil speaks at Chatham

Photo: Elizabeth Sawyer

On Friday, October 18, This is Me! partnered with Student Affairs to bring Skylar Kergil to Chatham University’s Eddy Theatre to speak on the topic of gender identity and sexuality and to show what he is doing to educate people on diversity through his art.

Kergil, a transgender activist, writer, artist, and YouTube star, opened his talk by defining the differences between sex, gender identity, gender expression and orientation. He was quick to make it clear that not only were these definitions his own, but that even he does not think his own definitions should be set in stone.

Kergil also noted that he believes gender identity is fluid and should not be contained within the normal terms of boy and girl that we come across so commonly in society. He also talked about his transition from female to male and the complications that he faced within his everyday life. Some of the struggles faced were with himself, his relationships with the people who surrounded him, whether that was family, friends, or society, as well as his documentation of his transition from female to male on YouTube.

Kergil is currently working on a photography project entitled “Re-Humamizing” where he mails disposable cameras to trans-masculine individuals to document their lives. The cameras are then mailed back to Kergil, along with personal accounts from the individuals, which he then documents. The 53 page book, “Re-humanizing the Transmasculine Community,” is a collection of the images and writings of the individuals participating in Kergil’s art.

Kergil wrapped up his talk with a slideshow of some of the images in “Re-humanizing the Transmasculine Community.” He also played some of the songs that he has written, some of which dealt with his coming to terms with his identit. Kergil’s book, “Re-humanizing the Transmasculine Community” can be purchased online as a CD that can be found on Kickstarter.