THEBATHTUBPROJECT

exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: Social Justice

Andrew and Liz

Andrew and Liz

 

Date of Interview: November 11, 2016

Names: Andrew and Liz

Ages: 29 and 31

Pronouns: He/Him and She/Her

Location: Washington, DC

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

Liz: Every day.
Andrew: Whenever necessary. As infrequently as possible.
L: Sometimes I have to ask you to do it.
A: It never occurs to me. To shower. So I usually have to be told. So I’m not thrown out by society ::laughs::.

How does it feel to be in a bath?

Andrew: This is nice.

If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?

Andrew: Crab. Because I’m crabby.
Liz: You are very crabby. I think I would be a sand dollar. They used to be all over the place where I grew up in Maine and now they’re being pushed out by climate change. You never see them. Now, when I see them it’s this treat.
A: When people see you it’s a treat, because you’re rare? Is that the idea?
L: Sure, that’s right.

What are you passionate about?

Andrew: I’m passionate about music, about art and politics. I am passionate about playing music, writing music, performing music, listening to music. I’m passionate about other people’s art, art that is interesting, art that speaks to truth. Art that revels to me a truth that I had previously not known.
Liz: Being a part of a community that is improving the world. And I do that in a few different ways. I feel very passionate about the DC arts community. I also care immensely about social justice issues. We have so many opportunities to improve other people’s lives. I see it as my obligation to open people’s eyes however I can, through writing and photo and video, by putting stories out into the world to help people understand how simple it is to help other people.

What are you afraid of for the world?

Andrew: Letting fear dictate policy. Letting ignorance dictate policy. Lack of empathy.
Liz: Yeah, lack of empathy is a big one. There’s so many people who lack empathy and we’re so fundamentally disconnected right now. I’m really scared of how I feel disconnected from this huge portion of my country. With the work that I do I meet people who are really struggling. I’m terrified about that lack of empathy continuing to grow and grow and grow.

Do you feel, as creative types, that the two of you have created a world that you can thrive in?

Liz: Absolutely.
Andrew: That’s the goal at least. And it’s good. About 90% of the time.
L: I think that’s one of the reasons why we found each other and connected as a couple. We both have a world view where we want to contribute…
A: …in a positive way.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.

Andrew: They’re necessary. They’re absurd. They’re messy. They’re chaotic but they’re 100% necessary. We need each other.
Liz: They make you grow. They bring you joy. They bring you sadness and sometimes that’s a good thing. They push you in directions you don’t expect. You wind up in new places. I’m about to go on a ten-day trek through the wilderness literally at the end of the Earth, and it’s because of my relationship with a lady friend. She was like “hey you want to go do this” and I told her that I’ve never even considered that, so, okay, let’s do it.
A: I think one of the reasons I love music is because it allows you to form relationships with people that would be extremely difficult otherwise. You can connect with people who you’ve never met before. As a performer, connecting with an audience. As an audience member with another audience member sharing a passion over an artist. Or an audience member connecting with a performer. One of the great things about it is you can connect with people across social boundaries. Across race or across gender or whatever, that’s one of the things that excites me so much about it. Is the ability to connect other people and form relationships.

What is something that you struggle with?

Andrew: Excessive self-analysis ::laughs::. That’s something I struggle a lot with.
Liz: Being comfortable with the unknown. I’ve had a lot of movement in my life. I moved every year or two until I was in high school. As an adult I’ve continued that lifestyle. I think sometimes I get a little freaked out when I don’t have a plan. Or my plans get changed.

What is something that brought you joy today?

Andrew: Going to an art museum and seeing art that was interesting and from a perspective that I don’t often see. That brought me joy.
Liz: We were on our way to the art museum… just flying down the street on our bicycles and the wind was in my hair … it just felt so good. We were on our way to do something we love. And in that moment, I felt really happy.

Arin Jayes

Arin Jayes

 

Date of Interview: June 16, 2016

Name: Arin Jayes

Age: 25

Pronouns: They/Them and He/Him

Location: Washington, DC

 

Is there any part of your body that you feel is missing?

Is there any part of my body that I miss… It’s weird, I kind of miss my period in a weird way. I don’t know, I think that there was this sense of release that I got from my period that I’ve lost since being on T. And… I don’t know, I’m not necessarily thinking about being on T for forever. So that might be something that I might want to have again. Not really sure.

What are your thoughts on how gender is perceived?

Umm, I think that gender is a performance. And gender can be very creative. And fun to play with. But it can also be extremely constricting and suffocating for a lot of people. But I think as I’ve become more masculine, I’ve been able to kind of bring out the more feminine parts of myself, and embrace the queen that I am. Because I felt like, when I was perceived as a woman, that people would see me… I would walk down the street and people would see my, and like… they would think that “oh, this is a cis woman” and I was thinking to myself, “No, this is like a flamboyant gay man, who likes to wear blouses and glittery things in heels” But that isn’t what people see. But now that I’ve been able to pass more I’ve been more comfortable exploring those sides more, which is cool.

What are you passionate about?

I’m really passionate about art. I really like making embroidery and textile art. And I’m really passionate about gardening. I’m really passionate about social justice issues and helping people that are experiencing poverty. I’m passionate about my friendship and relationships.

Do you think the way you were raised impacts what you are passionate about, and how you live your life artistically and as an activist?

Yeah! Well, definitely artistically. My mom is a landscape painter, and I was always raised to appreciate the importance of art. And when I was little, there were always crayons and stuff, and art supplies for me to practice with, so definitely in that way. In terms of social justice, I kind of had to go out on my own. A lot of my beliefs are a lot more radical than people in my family, which is something we’re growing in, and being able to understand each other. But I kind of had to do that on my own.

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

Well like, in the immediate future, I am getting top surgery tomorrow. So you know, I am afraid of discomfort and pain and all that. But part of it is trying not to cling to pleasure and feeling good, and to recognize that you aren’t always going to feel good. And that’s okay. And experiencing a little bit of pain is totally worth it to have an awesome chest. So I’m a little bit afraid of that. And in the wake of Orlando last week, I’m definitely feeling more scared in public. And feeling like having a gay club targeted is a punch in the gut to the queer community because, you know, it is a place where people can explore their vulnerability in a space where you are surrounded by queer people. And everyone is having fun and embracing who they are, and that’s a really important space for a lot of people. And so I think the fact that THAT was targeted as a space for queer people on a night with queer people of color was a huge blow to our community. That really scares me.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

I don’t know. I’m kind of young, so I don’t think I’m that far yet in my life, with a lot of things, like a career and stuff. But you know, I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot with figuring out who I am, and I feel like I’ve really gone out on my own, and grown up a lot. And I feel like I’m kind of living my truth right now. Which feels like a huge accomplishment.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, romantic, sexual, and otherwise?

Well, I’m polyamorous and so I think that’s it’s possible to love more than one person. And having multiple relationships exposes you to the beautiful diversity of people being able to be all your various selves around all these various people. And that’s really important to me. And recently, I’ve been trying to explore prioritizing my friendships and other sorts of platonic relationships as much as I prioritize my partnerships. Especially when you’re poly and have a lot of partners, you tend to give a lot of time to your partners because that’s really fun, but… you need to make time to make sure you can see your friends. Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time with my friends, and making sure that a lot of people are on board with taking care of me during top surgery. You know, that kind of stuff.

What are some things that you are hopeful for before you turn 40?

Hmmm… Trying to think of the most important thing, but I feel like that’s a lot. I think by then I would like to feel like I’ve started a family… But not necessarily the way one normally thinks of starting a family. I may live in a family with multiple couples in it, or may share the raising of a child with someone, or something. I don’t know what that’s going to look like. That family might include one person or two people or three. I don’t know, but at that point, I want to feel like I have a family.

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