Gallery Zero: Millie Quick
Gallery Zero is a platform for collectives of artists, creators, makers and agitators to develop practice and engage with audiences through the notion of collaboration. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gallery Zero remains closed and our residency programme continues to be on hold. In light of this, we offered shortlisted residency applicants the opportunity to platform their work online. Over the next couple of the months, we’ll be uploading their submissions.
A GENDER EUPHORIA MANIFESTO
We each have authority and authorship of our own gender euphoria.
JOY IS MINE
Our gender and lack of gender is real. Our expressions, feelings and experience of gender euphoria are both embodied and transcendent.
JOY IS REAL
Some have to fight and suffer to express gender. Gender euphoria is precious, and even if only momentary, is a testament to perseverance.
JOY IS VICTORY
Whether inherited, created, shared or hidden, the momentum that pulls us towards experience of true being can change everything.
JOY IS POWER
Power, past and community give us intersecting identities: simultaneously shared and unique. Gender euphoria can strengthen solidarity and celebrate individuality.
JOY IS DIVERSE
We can begin to map gender euphoria with science, art and communication, but it is forever liberated from comprehensive or static definitions.
JOY IS WYRD
Gender euphoria strengthens good that is and focuses good that could be.
JOY IS RADICAL
To be is to begin. We deserve to live in a freer, safer and more just world, and we should feel pride in what we already are.
JOY IS NOW
This manifesto is my attempt to tease out the different but connected values I see inside the concept of “gender euphoria”. It’s a subject that resists a simple definition, but I think we can use jumping-off points like these to stoke conversations about what joy can be. The beauty of being transgender is that, by necessity, a lot of time is spent appreciating the complexity of identity.
For me, the core of my gender is joy, and the kind of joy it is defines who I am. That euphoria is very much entwined with many other emotions, including dysphoria, but the direction I am always moving towards is what I perceive most clearly. I am happy to be a woman but I am also happy to be involved in an unending development of my awareness of identity.
The way narratives are shaped in the media is bound to follow certain patterns: keeping things short, simple, unsurprising, progressing only by increments. Transgender people are often defined by their pain, by medical processes, being ‘born in the wrong body’ and dreaming of being ‘normal’. While dysphoria is a very important subject, it is not the only definition of trans life. The beautiful thing about transition, to me, is that it can be endless, unbounded, and shared. I never feel more myself than when I’m sharing in the powerful variety of gender expressions and achievements in queer communities.
I want to center the voices of transgender, non-binary and intersex people in this discussion, but cisgender and endosex people also have a relationship to gender and to joy. Hearing a wide range of people talk about their perspective on gender euphoria and collaborating on new ways of visualising it, helps me feel my personal joy all the more vividly. Even in one person, there is diversity of identity from one moment to the next, and those patterns are endlessly beautiful. I hope my manifesto can inspire others to talk about their own unique joys, what identity means to them, and what new ways we can invent to share these ideas.
Millie Quick is a queer Nottingham-based artist working with text, audio, video and performance to explore the power of gender euphoria. She is passionate about gender both politically as a subject of power struggle, liberation and community, and personally as her transition pulls into focus different aspects of ecstatic self-hood. Currently she is particularly exploring the uncanny joys of hypnosis and sigilation.