A Different Shade of Pastel

Trans Art Is the Art of Freedom

I've been an artist all my life. From my earliest age, I could draw whatever came into my head or draw subjects from sight. I nurtured that gift into my early 20s.


Then I stopped.


A Fortress in Which to Live—and Die

As a young adult, I built a container that bore all the insignia and flags of the fortress I thought I needed to face the world. Problem was, when I'd perfected that presidio, I had no clue who was the me imprisoned in it.

I built a fortress to face the world … but I had no clue who was the me imprisoned in it.

I had turned my artistic talents to constructing a formidable façade. My writing talents were the ammo for my cannons.


It was a masterwork … that crumbled like a house of cards.


Really Losing It

Thank the goddess it did. Actually, it had to. I wrote in my last blog that "loss is real, but nothing that's real is ever permanently lost."


Yet, to get to the real I had to lose my …


… clutching a false self,

… obsession with building a fortress,

… aligning myself with groups and ideologies that reinforced my false identity.

Pride goeth before a fall. Grace rises from the ashes.

Loss had to happen to me, but, more importantly, I had to willingly lose all the above. Pride goeth before a fall. Grace rises from the ashes.


Getting Back to Where I Started From

I thought I was dying. I wasn't. My false self was. From its tomb came something totally flabbergasting to me—Bethany. The real me.

Me last year, with my Pastels on 5th Street Piece

One of the fruits of that transformation was an explosion of creativity. No longer building the walls of a fort, I threw that prodigious effort into getting back where I started from—drawing, painting, writing stories.

My life took on colors I'd never known were in the spectrum—all pastel.

My life took on colors I'd never known were in the spectrum—all pastel.


Bethany Unbound

That's why I'm proud and thrilled to again take part in an incredible event in my hometown of Loveland, Colorado—the 11th Annual Pastels on 5th Street.


Artists from all over Colorado chalk art onto sidewalks. Art that will be lost with the coming of winter wind and snow. What's gained is a triumph of the human spirit. We're all destined to be so much dust in the wind. Yet, we're really here … as works of art, however briefly.


We are meant to create, not to build houses of strife.


Pastels on 5th—An Alternative to Violence

In a nation that glorifies war and conquest, we ought to pause in reverence for those moments that we create something out of nothing. We give our lives for times like these. I wish war would never be. I wish so many young lives wouldn't be lost to it.

We are meant to create, not to build houses of strife.

While I'm alive, I plan to make sure their lives—and mine and yours—are not in vain … by pausing to pastel a moment of magic that makes us drop our weapons, laugh, cry, and hug each other. Our lives are unique, and that's the point of art—creations that come from nowhere else but that one soul in that one instant who breathes a flame against the darkness that no one else ever could.


That's why you and I stand in awe of art—it reminds us who we really are.


The beauty of Pastels on 5th is that it works that magic and raises awareness and funds for Alternatives to Violence, an organization that provides shelter, advocacy, education and resources for people impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.

Art reminds us who we really are.

Did you catch that? We're not building a fortress but a sanctuary.


Join us this Saturday, September 11th, 2021 and embrace the real you and me.


Love,


Bethany








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