Under the skin is a series of motion graphics about an inner world of transgender, non-binary and genderqueer people. It is intended to inspire the public to reflect on feelings of this population through their distribution on social media, in order to raise queer pride, solidarity, and compassion for young genderqueer individuals as well as help cisgender friends and family members to understand their struggles and souls.
“I always felt that I have a boy inside me who needs to share space with this woman-facing identity. But I didn’t know how to bring that to the surface.”
— Matice Moore
(The New York Times Magazine)
The project started with 10 interviews of non-binary or genderqueer people in order to understand their experiences in exploring their identities. They were asked to draw a journey map indicating their identities explorations without rules.
S: “when people were asking if I am a boy or a girl, I felt so bad. This is because I did not want to lie, but I am not confident I can explain it well to let them understand me.”
The series of animations are created to broadcast their emotional narratives by visualizing symbols, which are gathered from journey maps and associated with their experience, e.g. a bomb, doors, eyes, lipsticks, medication, planets, a scissor, and so on. Based on the journey maps, those objects hold a special meaning for genderqueer people.
Take a bomb as an example, one of the questions I asked during the interview was “what might be a fun and helpful thing or design to invent for genderqueer people?” Someone gave me an unexpected answer. They said they would like to have a bomb that can kill every living human who is trying to recognize them as male or female. The symbol of the bomb not only indicates their anger but also implies their desperate encounters or concerns.
As a member of the trans and non-binary community, my aim is to share the struggles we have experienced with the public. Through my conversations with the interviewers, we found although we grew up in different places, we all have experienced similar pains. Before sharing our stories with others, we all thought no one else could possibly know our feelings.
After expressing what we have been through, we affirmed one another and felt stronger than before. I believe sharing the inner powers we have can make the world better.