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Ventiko (edited for publication by Katharine T. Jacobs)

first performed on March 10, 2020
Performance Anxiety at Chinatown Soup
performed once in 2020


Brooklyn, NY


I pulled red string out of my vagina, spun it into rope, and made a noose which I then put on as an expression of my feelings on being a woman under patriarchy. This confession of suicidal feelings is not hyperbole: I struggle with the desire to live after decades of gender-based violence and marginalization which will define the remainder of my life.

I’m an interdisciplinary artist and writer. My medium is determined by the concept. In this performance, as in life, my body gives birth to my demise in a way which is more potent than any tome I could write. The performance ephemera—the noose—remains as a testament to my agony.

The inspiration for the piece was my then upcoming two-year anniversary with celibacy. That marriage milestone is also known as the “cotton anniversary” (the original title) and the traditional color is red. Both are reflected in the material and hue of the rope—which was made of two strands containing twelve threads representing 24 months without physical intimacy. I also wore the same dress and shoes I had on during my last sexual encounter.

I don’t choose to be without physical connection. I struggle to meet men who are not passively or violently misogynistic which makes sex depressing, degrading, or dangerous. Additionally, my bisexuality is stunted. I resisted relationships with women until middle age due to compulsory heterosexuality and the hypersexualization of female bisexuality within the male gaze. I’ve overcome this but the reality is that it’s reasonably difficult to earn trust as a recent sexual convert.

I’m largely without family—biological or chosen—and without a meaningful support system as I struggle against the manifestations of misogyny that I encounter. My poor prospects for meaningful intimacy add to my hopelessness.

As white, cis, and femme-presenting, I’m extremely privileged because racism and queerphobia compound the horrors of patriarchy. Women of color endure more discrimination and violence, particularly Black and Indigenous women. The same is true of trans women. Black trans women are the most vulnerable people on earth. Lesbian or masc presenting women are targeted throughout the world for “corrective rape,” a homophobic hate crime. Men also suffer greatly under patriarchy. Instead of using the noose (or any means) to end my suffering; I aspire to use my privilege, labor, and art to contribute to the demise of white supremacist patriarchy.