We’ve spoken with so many amazing Birds over the past two years who continue to do some awesome things. We thought we’d check back in with some …
What's the scariest thing you've done this year?
In February, I began my medical transition from female to male. This has been a long time coming. I feel like I've taken a mask off after 24 years of wearing it against my will. So, you can imagine my relief and joy when I tell you that I can finally see myself. I'm finally moving in the ways that I've wanted to move. My body is finally growing in the ways that it has wanted to grow! I'm a more reliable person. I can show up for other people when they need me. I can carry on conversations without constantly dissociating from reality.
I am so freaking happy with my progress! That being said, I'm in the process of mourning my womanhood and relationships I lost by admitting to the world that I'm a transgender person. I have new safety concerns, but I'm shedding old ones. White male privilege is real - just ask any white "passing" trans guy.
While navigating this new terrain is scary, I only have one regret. I wish I started this process a helluva lot sooner. Unfortunately, I'm often late to my own party and coming out to myself took a lot of rigorous emotional excavation, but here we are!
What are you working on right now?
I'm a 2016-2017 Fresh Tracks Artist at New York Live Arts. On January 13 and 14, I'll premiere a new solo called Tra(n)sh at New York Live Arts. Equipped with cookies and an open invitation for political incorrectness, Tra(n)sh takes a humorous ride from overzealous optimism to total despair as I simultaneously seek a “safe space” for my audience’s opinions and my non-binary transgender body.
How has your work/choreography evolved?
Medically transitioning teaches you how to give less fucks. As a result, my work is becoming more naked both literally and metaphorically (ha). I'm not tidying the work up or putting bows of "satisfaction" on it anymore. I'm moving in the ways that I want and need to move. So, I guess my work is getting louder through color, speech, and my absurd facial expressions. I love giving a good face to the audience. I want to laugh with you. I want to cry with you. I want to learn together through performance.
Ashely is currently raising funds for top surgery and recovery which is not covered by insurance. To help Ashley's transition, click here.