Jasper Behrends is a trans teenager who lives in northern Virginia and just graduated from high school in June.
As part of his art course, he had to devise a specific subject for his work, as well as a theme. His official concentration statement was: ‘How the people in my life relate to their gender and sexuality, especially in regards to body dysphoria.’
But then his art teacher thought it might be a little ‘inappropriate’ and what happened next is amazing. A viral tweet captured the internet’s attention and the rest is history.
Gay Star News asked Jasper to give us a rundown of how exactly it all played out.
How long have you been doing art?
I’ve been doing art for as long as I have been able to hold a crayon.
Ever since I was a kid, art has always been an outlet I use to express myself. It helped me through my parent’s divorce, it helped me through my depression and anxiety, and it’s now helping me through my transition and self exploration.
Your school’s administration told you to stop doing art that plays with gender and sexuality because it’s ‘inappropriate’ – how did this conversation go?
For those who don’t know, the AP Studio Art course is separated into two different segments: the Breadth section and Concentration section.
In the Breadth section, the student must show their range as an artist and mastery of space, shape, form, color, pattern, etc. In the Concentration section, the student gets to pick a specific subject and do an in depth study on it.
Each section contains 12 pieces and a complete portfolio is 24 pieces.
My official concentration statement was ‘How the people in my life relate to their gender and sexuality, especially in regards to body dysphoria.’