The Queer Portrait Project tells the stories of people in the queer community in my paint and in their words. I am painting queer-identified people and having each person write a short bio to accompany the painting. I am painting people I know and people I don’t know. I am painting gay people, bi people, trans people, non-binary people, old people, young people, outgoing people, shy people, tall people, short people…queer people. I seek to illustrate the diversity, breadth, and variety that is the queer community. I like the thought of art used as a connection and a bridge in this tight-knit, yet also disparate community. We sometimes subdivide ourselves according age, race, gender, and class. I hope to show, in the most basic of ways -images and words- how art can be action for change. We have the power to strengthen and sustain each other: as queers, as artists, as people.

If you are interested in posing for the project, send an email to jen@jenclausen.com

Monday, March 5, 2012


10" x 8"

My name means "protector of humankind". I chose it because no intention I have is greater - except perhaps of love. I am a hopeful romantic who still believes, despite what I have seen and been through, that love WILL conquer all. I find this to be the best gift my upbringing gave me, as a guy who was raised as a girl. Living in both worlds has given me access to insights I would have otherwise missed. Being genderqueer has taught me that as individuals, both men and women feel pain, sadness, oppression, and alienation equally. Despite what we've all been taught, all people want nothing more or less than happiness and love. That love isn't about who gets more or less - that love is about recognizing we are equally flawed, equally broken, equally valuable, and equally deserving. Society's expectations hurt all of us. This is the furrow in my brow. I am concerned that love isn't being spread rapidly enough to get sadness, frustration, and oppression before they go through puberty and become hate. We are all amazing. We all need to hear that and believe it more often. We need to spread it around liberally and deliberately like janitor's white paint over hate graffiti: believe in the beauty of your truth - even knowing we all have a different one. This one is mine.

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