Words and Artwork by Moises Salazar
There is nothing more intimate than being alone with your own body. As I recently stood naked in front of my mirror and sketched my own body for the first time it was very special to me. I think I was more nervous to be naked with my self than it has been with my past partners. It was in those sketching sessions I was beginning to question my male identity. I was at a point in my life that I realized I felt more than just a gay man. I looked at my body and the more I looked the more it lost its inherent maleness. Just like this time and the past times, I discovered something new about myself in my studio, alone, protected.
I have always been comfortable with being alone. As an artist, you spend the majority of your creative time alone. It’s a vital relationship to have. I love spending hours by myself in my studio. It was in those late nights that I was able to heal and mend at my own pace through my art. I look back and realize that without being aware of it I was doing more than repairing. I was preparing.
I went from being a gay man to being queer and non-binary. It took years of being alone with my body to get where I am now. I learned so much from sitting by my self in my studio. I think that we place so much emphasis on being completely surrounded by our family and our community all the time that we don’t realize the necessity of being by yourself. Exploring who we really are in solitude. There is a stigma toward being alone. There is a false notion that to be happy we must constantly be around others but it's not true. It's so important to be by your self sometimes.
I think it was because I was a queer child that I quickly learned to have a relationship with my self. I was too young to realize it but being alone was my way of protecting my self. I was never able to fill the mold of the hyper-masculine Mexican man my parents wanted. No matter how much I and they tried. It was in those moments when I was alone that I was able to preserve my queer body.
I like to think the work that I make now is the culmination of that. I create bodies discovering themselves. They are me as colorful, feminine, innocent, gentle, soft, and loud as I can be. They are alone in their world, protected, discovering. I am hopeful of my own, and other queer folks, journey of self-discovery. In my own way, I will continue to aid those around me. Together we will thrive as we have on our own.