Open Up Your Loving Heart ~ Pride
"Open Up Your Loving Heart," 2018 by Lea K. Tawd.
Open Up Your Loving Heart. A flower made of light blooms from her 3rd eye as her intuition deepens. The full moon rises in the gateway behind her. Healing energy flows from her hand out into the World beyond. A rainbow of women flows from her hair. Paper dolls but each one is an individual, connected.
I actually wrote and published a blog about this piece last week, but I deleted it. Don't worry, you didn't miss anything. I realized that I have something else to say. Something more important.
I am bisexual. I guess pansexual is a more accurate word, but I've been using the word bisexual for so long that it is still my default. I am in a monogamous marriage with a man, so this is a part of me that is mostly invisible.
Why am I telling you this? Partly because I want to honor this hidden part of my identity, and I don't do that very often. But more so because staying invisible is staying safe, a privilege that so many others do not have. I want to stand with my gay, transgender son, my gay and lesbian friends, and so many other people who I do not know but who deserve to be treated with equality and humanity and so often are not.
How I do this is by being more vocal about my own identity. I had some negative experiences with coming out as bi, so eventually I stopped doing it unless it came up in relevant conversation. Which it did less and less over time. I did not intend to be closeted but nonetheless I allowed it to happen. Even my own son didn't know until he came out to me!
Another way that I stand with my community is by being a stronger ally in all the ways that I can. Technically I am included in LGBTQ+ but since I walk around as a cis white woman living a mostly straight life, I also consider myself an ally. I have educated myself where I can--and will continue to do so--and am always working to check my biases when they come up. I stand up when I see injustice. I do the emotional labor that others cannot or should not have to.
A third way that I honor myself and LGBTQ+ community is by making my art more inclusive when I can. I wrote a blog in January about how I work to include women of color. My work is specifically about femininity, but how can I better represent a diversity of the feminine experience? This painting, "Open Up Your Loving Heart," specifically came to me as one way to do that. The paper doll idea came to me while I was working and I love the way it works to include so many types of women.
Finally, I want to specifically support transgender kids by working with their parents to go through the mental and emotional transition that happens when you discover that your child is transgender. It is a process no matter how loving and supportive you are, and the easier I can make it, the more kids can have better parents, quicker. I'll be talking more about this in an upcoming post.
If you are interested in seeing more of my painting, Open Up Your Loving Heart, and/or purchasing it, click on the photo above. If you relate to this article in any way, I would love to hear from you.