Bertie Gardner

Boy Juice, acrylic yarn and Polyfill, 12”x 7”

Testosterone has been a game changer in my transition to being my authentic self. My vials of “Boy Juice” have helped elevate my gender euphoria and my mental health.

Manufactured Happiness, acrylic yarn and cardboard, 10”x 7”

LGBTQ+ people experience a higher rate of depression and anxiety, as well as other mental health issues. This has led to members of the community seeking a variety of treatments- from doctor prescribed antidepressants to alcohol to illegal drugs. We do what we can to feel happy, even if it’s detrimental to other areas of our lives.

“Queer health is equality. As a transgender person, I have a different set of needs than cisgender people. However, quality healthcare is not always easily accessible. When I lived in rural Texas, it felt terrifying to discuss my needs as a queer person because of how conservative the area was. I wasn’t sure who I could trust, so I hid a big part of myself. Even now, living in an area with more healthcare options, it’s still a struggle when you hear of transgender people being turned away or harassed in doctor offices.”

Bertie Gardner
Recycled, plastic, cotton, acrylic yarn, ribbon, and jean, 12”x 8”

Queer people rely on other queer people to know about their healthcare. We are constantly recycling our resources. This is how we find doctors, counselors who are willing to work with us and how we find the information to advocate for our health care. We also rely on our community to find transition related items- binders, prosthetics, etc. But because of costs and availability, they often become hand me down items. This work is meant to highlight how each individual is made up of everyone in our community.

Artist Biography

(He/They) From uteruses for the local Vagina Monologues to scarves for the Texas Special Olympics, I have used my 10+ years of crochet expertise to spread love and awareness. By day, I am a higher education professional helping non-traditional students finish their degree, while I also work towards a Masters in Public Administration. By night, I am a program leader with LGBTQ SAVES, a Fort Worth based non-profit that provides a safe and brave space for LGBTQ youth in the area. I consider myself an advocate for reproductive rights, mental health, BIPOC and the LGBTQ communities.

I like to create things that bring comfort to others, mainly because I use my art as a way to comfort myself. Fiber art allows for a lot of creativity, but it also allows time for meditation. I chose to use my skills in crochet to create items that would highlight different topics related to health. It helped me to think about my own mental and physical health. It was a mind opening experience.

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