“Kiss My Gender” Exhibition Explores the Notions of Sexual Identity

“Kiss My Gender” Exhibition Explores the Notions of Sexual Identity

Learning about SOGIE is a critical understanding of the situation and struggles of the LGBTQ+ community / OneSideProFoto via Shutterstock


The LGBTQ+ community faces much discrimination every day. They are looked down upon, treated negatively, and even violated just because of how they express themselves. The negative assumptions about them were extremely popular in the 1970s when many believed that those who identified themselves as being of the opposite sex were insane. In the 19th and 20th centuries, a vast majority of the population believed that the LGBTQ+ community was suffering from mental disorders. 

The LGBTQ+ community's sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression or popularly known as SOGIE are probably the most misunderstood about them. According to an article by Be Inclusive, the term simply refers to how they choose to express themselves. Learning about SOGIE is a critical understanding of the situation and struggles of the LGBTQ+ community. However, many people around the world, especially those who live in conservative countries, consider this as a complex topic and taboo. 

A lot of people shy away from talking about it. This prohibits the community from experiencing the same treatment and opportunities as heterosexual people. Aside from that, they are also denied of their basic human rights and of loving who they want. Fortunately, efforts have championed human rights regardless of gender. Museums and exhibitions also do their part in showcasing artworks from queer artists. 

In fact, the Hayward Gallery in London will launch a group exhibition this coming June 12 which aims to ignite a conversation about gender fluidity, trans, and intersex identities. The exhibition, which will run until September 8, aims to feature queer artists and their artworks, debunking misconceptions about gender identity. 

Misconceptions About the LGBTQ+ People

Over the past few years, a lot of negative misconceptions have surrounded people with diverse SOGIE. These ideas are mostly rooted in stereotypes, myths, and misinformation. According to an article by Strong Family Alliance, one of the myths that LGBTQ+ people encounter is that homosexuality is a choice, however, it is caused by factors such as the biology of brain development and genetics. Thus, there's no truth that peer pressure, parenting, and religious struggles are the causes of homosexuality.

Another is that homosexuality can be "cured" which implies that people with diverse SOGIE have mental disorders. The truth is, therapy or medication cannot change one's sexual orientation. In fact, the American Psychological Association found that therapeutic efforts are not likely to change who they are. This is also linked with the idea that homosexuality is abnormal. In a joint statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, and American Psychiatric Association in 1973, they said, “Homosexuality is not an illness. It does not require treatment and is not changeable. Gender differences are normal expressions of human relationships.”

One of the most popular misconceptions is that accepting homosexuals as who they are will ruin the church. For the longest time, religious groups have condemned LGBTQ+ people because they believe that love and marriage are exclusive to partnerships between men and women. However, there's nothing wrong with acknowledging that everyone has the right to choose the people they love and that everyone has the right to be accepted for who they are. 

The exhibition entitled "Kiss My Genders" at the Hayward Gallery aims to initiate conversations surrounding themes of gender fluidity, non-binary, trans, and intersex identities / Thinglass via Shutterstock


Unfortunately, the rigid beliefs that many people still hold about sex and gender keep people in the closet, prohibiting them from living a life with freedom. These beliefs do not mirror the realities of human sexuality, especially how gender roles and expressions, sexual behavior, and sexual attraction influence one's life. Most of the time, these notions only favor male-female distinctions. At the same time, these are biased against those who do not fit existing stereotypes of sex and gender.

It is important to remember that human sexuality is diverse. One's SOGIE, which we all have, is decided or chosen by people themselves. Human rights are not exclusive to only men and women, thus, the LGBTQ+ community have the right to experience them, too.

"Kiss My Genders" Exhibition

Curated by Vincent Honoré, the exhibition entitled "Kiss My Genders" at the Hayward Gallery aims to initiate conversations surrounding themes of gender fluidity, non-binary, trans, and intersex identities. According to an article by the Twin Factory, the show will feature the artworks of 30 international artists in a wide range of media such as painting, installation, sculpture, portraits, videos, and many more. 

The exhibition will emphasize the works that revisit the tradition of photographic portraiture. Many artists treat the body itself as a sculpture which shows that it opens up new possibilities for gender, beauty, and representations of the human form. Some of the featured are Travis Alabanza, Amrou Al-Kadhi and Holly Falconer, Jimmy DeSana, Jes Fan, and Chitra Ganesh.

According to an article by Culture Whisper, although the main themes of the exhibition are full of color and celebration, it also touches on other issues such as trauma. For instance, the "Memorial dress" created by Hunter Reynold shows an image of a black ball gown printed with the names of 25,000 people that were known to have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Aside from that, photographer Zanele Muholi will show an unsettling group of photos which explore the violence suffered by the lesbian and transgender communities in South Africa. 

Additionally, some of the artworks in the exhibition address the broader political and social contexts and questions that surround gender identity. There are also art pieces that deal with representations of femininity, sexuality, and power.