Trans Art Is Artist: H. Melt
Why do you want to submit your artwork to the Trans Art Is opening showcase?
Trans art has helped keep me alive. The viewing of other people’s artwork that affirms trans lives, as well as the creation and sharing of my own art has been so important to the development of my identity. There aren’t enough trans focused art exhibits in Chicago, and I’d be thrilled to participate in one taking place in the city that I call home.
H. Melt is a poet, artist, and educator whose work proudly celebrates Chicago’s queer and trans communities. Their writing has appeared many places including the Chicago Reader, In These Times, and Them, the first trans literary journal in the United States. They are the author of The Plural, The Blurring and editor of Subject to Change: Trans Poetry & Conversation. Their art has been exhibited at Big Chicks, the Overlook, and Woman Made Gallery. Lambda Literary awarded them the Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging LGBTQ Writers in 2017. They’ve also been named to Newcity’s Lit 50 list, as well as Windy City Times’ 30 under 30. H. Melt co-leads Queeriosity at Young Chicago Authors and works at Women & Children First, Chicago’s feminist bookstore.
The purpose of my work is to help keep trans people alive. I create art that centers trans people—it is by, for, and about our lives. My practice spans disciplines including artmaking, writing, teaching, and organizing. I focus on telling personal stories, building relationships, and creating community with queer and trans artists. I understand my work as queer. I define queer as a verb—an active challenging of the individual and institutional powers that define who and what is normal. I document Chicago’s queer and trans communities because people need to know we exist, we make art, and we are real. Through my poetry and art, I envision a world where trans liberation is celebrated every day.
Tags/link mentions: Chicago Reader, In These Times, Them The Plural, Big Chicks, the Overlook, Woman Made Gallery, Lambda Literary, Judith A. Markowitz Award Newcity’s Lit 50 list, Windy City Times’ 30 under 30, Queeriosity Women & Children First