Conor Collins is the UK-based artist who took on the astonishing feat of transforming hundreds of awful death threats and transphobic comments to and about Caitlyn Jenner into a stunning piece of artwork.
Collins began following Caitlyn’s transition on twitter after she revealed that she’s transitioning. Collins was inspired by Caitlyn’s bravery and “horrified” by some people’s reactions. He wanted to create something that applauded what Jenner was doing and still show the dark side of what trans people encounter. And his work shows why the suicide and murder rates of trans people are so unfathomably high.
“I admire what Caitlyn has done and how she has used her position and privilege to make a difference,” Collins told The Huffington Post. “So, naturally like anyone curious, I went on her Twitter to see more and was horrified by some of the comments. When I saw these I wanted to show them because it is a reality of what trans people experience every day.”
This wasn’t the typical art project, however. In fact, Collins himself experienced anguish and pain just reading the hateful things thrown at Caitlyn. It even drove him to drink:
“It was horrible having to research and write the tweets onto the canvas. To get through it I ended up working through half a bottle of whiskey and didn’t stop working on the painting till the small hours of the morning… For every person who sees it another person is shown the persecution and real danger trans people face.”
We’re glad Colin was able to endure and to create such beauty out of the ugliness a few sick individuals feel the need to throw at people who are different from them. Unfortunately, some of the hatred towards the transgender community has spilled over to him, according to a recent interview with the Telegraph:
“I’ve received a fair bit of hate mail in my emails overnight from people who hate the transgender community, or hate me, or just generally hate a lot of things…But I find the more hate mail I receive – the better job I am probably doing.
Bravo to Conor Collins, our new hero! Your bravery will prevail, and your art and place in history will be immortal!