My subject is Zoe Terakes, a transmasculine, non-binary actor. They’ve appeared in numerous stage productions, as well as on screen in notable television series such as Nine perfect strangers and Wentworth, and will star in the upcoming Marvel series Ironheart.
I’ve had the great pleasure of painting many trans and gender-diverse friends over the years, but this painting of Zoe has unfolded differently. Halfway through creating this painting, Neo-Nazis and anti-trans protestors rallied together on the steps of Victorian Parliament spouting rhetoric of hatred and bigotry. Shortly afterwards, a small group of peaceful queer activists was attacked by hundreds of men outside a Sydney church. Over the last 12 months, there has been a constant stream of new threats to trans rights and lives. It’s imperative that we stand up for, and with, our trans and gender diverse community. This portrait is a love letter to trans beauty and joy.