Billboard 208 / 



Stylized text that reads "Trans Healthcare Saved My Life",

Trans Healthcare
Saved My Life


Jayden Charles


The New Gallery / Billboard 208

June 28, 2024 - January 12, 2025
A stylized, drawn depiction of sprawling blue-coloured vines with thorns intertwined with each other and winding across a wide background of textured purple gradient. The vines have light blue highlights and stylized flowers and smaller slender stems are interspersed amongst the coils of the vines. The text “Trans Lives are Sacred” and “Trans Joy is Sacred” is nestled between the vines near the middle of the illustration.


Trans Lives Are Sacred


Ris


Hamilton Artists Inc. / Billboard

June 28, 2024 - May 31, 2025






In 2024, Alberta’s Premiere, Danielle Smith introduced regressive anti-2SLGBTQQIA+ legislation. These policies most prominently target trans and nonbinary youth and their access to trans affirming healthcare. In response, The New Gallery & Hamilton Artists Inc. have teamed up on a collaborative Billboard exchange featuring trans and nonbinary artists that we have curated for each others billboards. We hope that by featuring these artists on our most publicly facing exhibition spaces that we can show solidarity with the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community and uplift trans and nonbinary voices facing violent political rhetoric.




Trans Healthcare
Saved My Life


Jayden Charles


On September 20th 2023 there were multiple anti-trans protests across Ontario coined as the ‘1MillionMarch4Children’ that sparked from the anti-trans legislation that started in the United States and trickled into multiple Canadian provinces that mainly targets trans children and teenagers in school. This started as an attack on drag queens that quickly turned into stopping minors from accessing trans healthcare and took away their safe spaces at school. As a trans person who was very lucky to have supportive teachers, friends and parents while I was a highschool student I felt passionate about creating work about this topic. Trans Healthcare Saved My Life was a response to this, created in October 2023. I wrote a script about the ‘issue’ transphobic people have with transness and the harm their transphobia will cause, and most likely has already caused to people currently in school while speaking about my own experience with coming out while I was a high school student in 2017. This project made me remember how scary it can be to be seen as different, but also how important it is to speak about this topic and do as much as you can to help the trans people that need it more than ever. Trans Health Care Saved My Life as a title isn’t a phrase I take lightly, as for me and so many other trans people, being able to access trans healthcare truly saved so many lives.




Jayden Charles is a nonbinary Trinidadian-Canadian illustrator born, raised and currently based in Hamilton, Ontario. They graduated from Toronto Metropolitan University in 2023 with a BFA in Film Studies. Since graduating Jayden has shared their work at a variety of local art fairs, exhibits, and publications under the pseudonym cevincy. Their work is primarily digital focusing on themes of identity and mental health while experimenting with colour, text and character design. Jayden is primarily an illustrator but they also dabble in writing, zine making and animation. When they aren’t working they are playing video games, or wandering around the city listening to music.


Trans Lives Are Sacred


Ris


"Trans Lives are Sacred" is an illustration inspired by and in hopeful collaboration with the artist Kait Hatsch's mixed-medium embroidery pieces ‘Sacred Love/Sacred Lives’, celebrating the sacredness of disabled, trans, and queer folks. Trans-ness, as the need to control one's own body, identity, and appearance is defensive, a guard developed to keep from being grabbed and forced into some desired form. This trans reflex of resistant self-definition can extend into an appearance of vicious defense - monstrous tattoos, barbed piercings. A quick online search for “vines with thorns” returns mostly questions and advice about how to destroy them, often without considering whether the plant they are part of is native to the natural biosphere, their flower or their fruit. They are considered too complicated to deal with and likely to cause problems. A desire to nurture only expected smooth, similar, and comfortable lives is troubled by a jagged plant growing into an unanticipated shape - an unnerving echo of the ongoing policies all over the world to repress or destroy something not fitting a rigid scheme of boundaries, borders, and binary boxes suitable for data input. Trans-ness teaches a jagged resistance to forced categorization and requirements to fit into a fixed spot. Trans people have fought long and sharp for a place in the world to flourish, and so long as grasping hands try to pull them from that place, there will be pricks and barbs to stop them. Thorns serve a lot of useful purposes. They make plants beautiful, resilient, complicated, and protective - they can grasp and climb and defend themselves and defend others and produce safety for whatever needs that safety. Let them grow their way.



Ris (they/them) is a non-binary designer, illustrator, and full-time cat parent. They are an avid learner and teacher (and believer that the dichotomy of those two roles should be blurred) and are always learning how to dismantle power structures that marginalize people and commodify our connections as living beings to each other and to our environment. They are inspired by art and storytelling as a way to communicate our values and history an create community connections.





The New Gallery gratefully acknowledges and appreciates the support from and collaboration with The Hamilton Artists Inc.