Lili’s project Unknown explores identity, and her feeling of having an ‘unknown identity’. As part of her creative process, Lili wrote poetry and asked people to complete questionnaires in order to present multiple voices and identities. All these elements can be read together as one conversation.
Throughout life we encounter questions,
As humans it is inevitable.
Yet in some stages of our lives, we have more pressure put on us than at any other time.
I’ve always believed that teenage-hood to early adulthood is a hellish scramble to find answers to questions we may not even understand.
We’re taught that we must know about ourselves so that when people ask, we can answer.
We are taught that an answer, no matter how peculiar, disliked or frowned upon is better than none.
Taught that an A to their Q makes you functional,
So you fit in a category, no matter how many.
And here’s the big but, ‘unknown’ or ‘undecided’ is a category.
It’s okay to be unsure.
I’m proud to live in a time where everything’s accepted,
And worn with pride.
Despite there being so many choices,
‘I don’t know’
Just isn’t one of them.
Do you find the subject of sexuality and gender difficult to talk about? Why?
No, because I am used to talking about it freely in an accepting environment. But I am yet to tell certain people in my life in fear of rejection. – B.D.
It is a sensitive subject within my friendship group. However, I do have friends who are part of the LGBTQ+ community and they are some of the most understanding friends I have. – T.C.
Have you always known your sexuality and gender?
I would like to say yes, although it has always been a hard subject for me. It’s only been in the last three years where I have been quite aware of my sexuality/gender. – T.C.
I’ve always known my gender, I haven’t always known my sexuality. – F
Have you felt pressure from people when being asked your sexuality or gender?
Not my gender, somewhat my sexuality (i.e. being pressured to define it when I was still unsure). – F
Yes. It’s like they don’t need to know? How I identify shouldn’t be top of anyone’s priority list apart from my own. – B.D.
Do you feel that being unsure of your sexuality and gender is worse than knowing your sexuality and gender even if others don’t like it?
It’s up to me what I am, if other people don’t like it then they don’t have to be around me anymore. They either accept me or get out of my life. – S.A.B.
I don’t think it matters if you know or are unsure, your sexual identity can change throughout your life and as you meet people. – F
I don’t know…because being accepting of yourself, even if you’re unsure exactly what that is, is more important than what others think of you regardless of how you identify. (Unless you’re a Nazi). – B.D.
Interviews conducted by Penny Lowe, 2016