This work represents the process of coming out to a family about gender identity and/or sexual orientation, the experience of rejection, and finding a way to express the raw emotions that follow. The pieces move through different aspects of an Indigenous family unit that is influenced by Western Concepts of gender and religion. The unique story seen in the work centers around the different responses - all of which were essentially negative - faced in different church settings. The concept of being trapped in the room after “coming out of the closet” is an expression of the relief with knowing ones' identity and relating to other people, but, at the same time, feeling stuck and not able to show oneself fully to society and to one ’s closest family members. Using digital photography embroidered with red thread, Chantelle Yazzie-Martin documents some of the pain experienced by LGBTQ+ individuals. Embroidery is used as a way of transforming what was, historically, a gender-assigned job and silencing medium into a way to voice different perspectives. Yazzie-Martin recognizes people who are “stuck” in the room in front of the closet through her embroidered photographs.
Exhibit Related Programming
Iniquitous: Trapped in the Room
Yazzie-Martin uses digital photography and incorporates embroidery in her work. Click here