Master of Arts
Michael Hart, M.F.A.
Jane Hudak, Ph.D.
Jason Zingsheim, Ph.D.
Explanation of Title and Show
After lists and lists of adjectives, verbs, and nouns that describe the ideas and pieces in my show, I finally realized: 1) That I want my title to be inviting. 2) It is okay to use the argument against mine to get people interested. What do I mean by these? One of the biggest (if not the biggest) arguments against inclusion and diversity of gender, sex, and sexual minorities in the United States, is based on interpretations of scriptures from various religions. It is the fear of the unknown and of change that also keeps the general population unwilling to be open minded. A quick Google search leads me to a few select passages from the Christian Bible about fear and love. 1 John 4:18 seemed to fit the exact ideas I’m striving for. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” I see the word “love” in this instance not as romantic love but as acceptance for fellow humans. The punishment the queer community endures through un-acceptance and the denial of our existence has been long running and violent.
Why here? Why now? These questions are both simple and complex to answer. My thesis is about me and the things I want people to understand about how I feel and who I am as well as about gender, sex, and sexuality in general. Now, the complex answer is that as a society, here in the U.S., we are starting to embrace the grey areas but there is still such a long way to go in opening more minds. I believe that this long-term change starts with the revelation that the grey areas are as just the same as everyone else. If we start educating and start talking, children (and even closeted adults) will feel safer and hopefully even one day they will feel that their friends and family will fully accept them. The past decades have started the conversations, which is half the battle but it is time to start exploring solutions to create a fully inclusive society for the gender, sex, and sexually diverse people. I chose to have these conversations visually and intending to spark more questions and conversations by the viewers. I also intend, through my work, that others will realize just because they do not understand someone does not mean they need to punish them or to make them feel afraid but instead, give a little (or a lot) of understanding, acceptance, and love.
Smietanski, Liam, "There is No Fear in Love" (2017). All Student Theses. 115.