Carter Schneider

Queer Armor

Class of: 2021

Major: Photography BFA

Medium: Design, screen printing, and active engagement (performance piece in Washington Square Park)

Faculty: Emily Lambert & Rebecca Nilson

Prompt: Create a memorial that commemorates a place in New York and is a statement on the people, an event, or a movement that has taken place there.

Queer Armor is a moving memorial through t-shirt design that commemorates the transgender bodies, voices, and activism that took place in Greenwich Village (the chosen place for my memorial). It highlights the narrative that recognizes the existence of transgender and gender nonconforming people which is important to me as a transnonbinary person. I wanted to make a memorial piece that travels between both the past and the present and can validate people that also resonate with the statement that our bodies are not gendered, we are the ones that dictate our own gender. I feel the greatest issue is this disconnect between people and understanding each other when assumptions are made. There is also a greater level of erasure historically and institutionally within Greenwich Village with the pivotal moment of the Stonewall Riots being led by transgender people and yet transgender people still don’t get that recognition for their advocacy. This was to raise the voices not only of people that are queer in this current age but also our community that came before us. I printed 100 shirts with the statement “girl body, boy body, my body” with the first two statements crossed out and my body in bold. I went out and sold these for $10 each to people that felt in connection to these shirts and also took to the public environment of Washington Square park to make a sign of the transgender flag for people to write comments on it of what makes them feel affirmed in their own trans narrative or how they can support a trans friend. This was to continue raising voices and allowing people to be heard. Lastly, I finished the project by donating the money I raised to a people of color lgbt organization, Audre Lorde.