Miyani (Blue) Clark
Beloit College, studio art; critical identity studies
GSEF Fellow, Cohort 2
“We must stop pathologizing difference. Difference is not something that is bad in any way—and to begin with, there is no normal; there is no default.”
How would you describe yourself in a few sentences?
I am a young artist with who focuses on queer intersectional studies. I am transgender and use they/them pronouns and believe binaries are oversimplifications of an incredibly complex world. I hope to become an art educator one day and use art as a way of helping kids, particularly trans children of color, to learn that there is nothing wrong with them, that they are perfect despite everything the world tells them as otherwise.
If you had to teach someone one thing, what would you teach them?
To the general world? We must stop pathologizing difference. Difference is not something that is bad in any way—and to begin with, there is no normal; there is no default. Something I think is different is someone else’s normal. Something you think is normal is my difference. And these differences must not be erased or pathologized. We must start caring about our sisters and brothers and siblings.
What’s the best advice someone has given to you?
To marginalized bodies—find someone who shares an identity with you. For me, I am a transgender student. During my first week of my undergraduate career someone told me this, and I did. I cannot put into words how much they have helped me survive. If there is no one who shares an identity with you that can act as your mentor, remember—coalition building and community building will offer this same support.
Surround yourself with these chosen families—with people from your communities, people who will understand you at a deep and emotional level. They will offer a safe haven, a place of support, amidst an emotionally and physically draining inequitable world. These communities that you create and build with each other will offer the coalition you need to survive in a world that wasn’t made for you.