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Hermaphrodite artist XXXora launches pair of East End exhibitions

PUBLISHED: 08:55 27 August 2014 | UPDATED: 17:56 27 August 2014

XXXora

XXXora

Archant

Hermaphrodite XXXora this week launches two exhibitions in the East End that condemn the "non-consenting mutilation" of unisex babies.

One of the art works being exhibited at the ASC Gallery exhibition in Bow. This is called The Captured Hermaphrodite : The Elm Tree and helped XXXora become nominated for best Emerging Artist at the Southwark Art Awards and at the Winter Pride Awards this year.One of the art works being exhibited at the ASC Gallery exhibition in Bow. This is called The Captured Hermaphrodite : The Elm Tree and helped XXXora become nominated for best Emerging Artist at the Southwark Art Awards and at the Winter Pride Awards this year.

XXXora likes to be referred to as “she” but refuses to define herself as either a man or woman and is campaigning for legal recognition for a third “unisex” gender. Now she hopes her artwork will spearhead her crusade.

“Growing up I was forced to identify as a boy. I had to assimilate,” said XXXora, 34.

“But at 25 I decided I would live as my own nature, which was more female. I know I’m not female, I recognise that, but I feel I have more of a female gender role rather than the male one I was assigned.

“I haven’t experienced a physical sex change, I was fortunate enough that my parents let me grow up the way I am. But I have a lot of friends who have undergone horrific mutilations. It’s an example of the systematic invisibility of us and the eradication of this sex.”

XXXora explained hermaphroditism is more common than people realise, with one in every 2000 children born with ambiguous genitalia each year.

She uses her artwork as a platform to broadcast her campaign, insisting androgyny exists in nature all around us and should not be ignored.

“Plants and trees are exclusively hermaphrodites,” XXXora explained, “It’s a naturally occurring facet and my paintings argue this. Art was escapism for me, I realised it didn’t judge me.”

She uses optical illusions and surrealism in her paintings, explaining they are mostly black and white in protest against the current “monochromed gender binary” in law.

“My art is my armour to go on this crusade to make people realise there are humans like me who don’t have a defined gender. People like me do exist.

“Because this society doesn’t recognise the third gender I had to assimilate and lie about what I really was. I’ve been exposed to an unbelievable level of prejudice because people have the assumption this is unnatural.”

Support for XXXora’s fight is growing fast, with celebrities like Courtney Love and Graham Norton adding their name to the campaign.

Postgender: Part 1: Genesis is the first of her exhibitions and opens tonight with a private view from 6pm to 9pm.

It remains open to the public until September 7 and takes place at the ASC Gallery, Empson Street, Bow.

The second is “The Mutilation of The Silver Bo(X)” at The Revelations Festival at Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green.

The revelations festival takes place on Friday, August 29 from 6.00pm to 7:30pm.

Read more:

East End artist exhibits work at Imperial War Museum North

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