Calloused Knees

Calloused Knees

March 10, 2011

This body of work draws on my experiences as a religious person coming to terms with my sexuality. When I was younger, I belonged to a church that taught me that homosexuality was wrong and should be changed. My efforts to change myself were desperate, self-destructive, and emotionally violent. When I realized I could not change my sexual orientation and when I met other gay people who were happy, I accepted myself for who I am.

While much of my work celebrates this new, liberated self, this body of work expresses themes from before I accepted myself. I use personal symbols, such as the suit I wore as a Mormon missionary, and a book I studied while I was in change-therapy. In addition to my own experiences, I am influenced by stained glass windows, early Mormon art, and by the woodcuts of the civil rights movement.