Once I started to process everything that had happened, I realized I was living a life caught between two worlds, not completely belonging to either. When people asked me where I was from, I used to get irritated and say things like, "Oh don't worry, I'm not an alien, I'm from Earth!"
In recent years, there has been more visibility for trans people with celebrities such as Laverne Cox, Elliot Page, Demi Lovato and shows like Pose getting more media attention. It has led to more diverse castings and opportunities for trans artists. At the same time, there are still barriers faced by many of us in the arts sector, such as finding appropriate opportunities, mentors, casting agents, photographers, and producers. This is not to mention the gender disparity that still exists in the arts. Combining years of experience of attending various artist development programs and trans led mentorships, here are some tips that I have gathered that helped me in the early stages of my career that may prove useful to you.
This realization got me thinking about how steeped in colonialism I am. It’s hard because I have to acknowledge that the bias, racist attitudes and behaviour engrained in western society have influenced me. I like to think I’m free of racism but it isn’t possible, having been raised in colonialism, and anti-racist isn’t a label I can just slap on myself after I think I’ve done the work.
The Artist Spotlight series aims to celebrate creators at a time when art is being consumed the most. Currently working with Inside Out as the Event and Community Engagement Manager, Kelsey Butt is a jack of all trades, first getting their start in the music industry on the East Coast before moving to Toronto in 2017. Kelsey shares with ArtsUnite what's been keeping them busy during the pandemic, and their thoughts on the future of the industry.