Androgyny Not an Anomaly, Series 2 by Zhi Kai Vanderford
Size 17 x 14
Artist statement: When males of some species of tropical fish are killed or die from old age, a female turns into a male and takes its place over the harem. Pregnancy is for male seahorses to endure. LGBTQ/Transgender is not an anomaly in our Creator’s universe.
Image Description: A gentle underwater scene. The background is two shades of blue, the upper half slightly lighter, each drawn with many diagonal lines. In the foreground at the bottom is a layer of light yellow sand. In the bottom left, is a crab, to the right is a small rock, to their right is an orange starfish. Between the rock and the starfish is a green plant with 7 large leaves stemming off. Still on the sand in the middle is a white and purple spiraling shell, behind which is a red coral in the shape of a Z and and a V. In the bottom right is a yellow sea anemone. In front of the anemone is a clown fish (orange with three white vertical stripes). Above the aforementioned green plant is a sea horse – it is in profile facing right, and coloured in purples and magentas. Behind the sea horse is another anemone & a chunky gray pillar. Lastly, in the upper right quadrant, is a large yellow fish with red accents on the edges of its fins. It has its face turned toward the viewer; there is a red line swooping down its face from each eye.
Artist bio: Zhi Kai H. Vanderford is a 55 year old driven activist, poet and artist for human rights. A transman and life prisoner, he has spent 36 consecutive years incarcerated between California, Oklahoma and Minnesota women’s prisons. He has a BA in Communications with dual minors in Business Management & Sociology. Minnesota’s Barnes & Thornburg law firm and All Square Restaurant are 2022-2023 benefactors for his paralegal training. His essays can be found in books: Poetry Unbound, Yellow Medicine Review, The Named & the Nameless, Our Red Book, Tuft University’s ReSentencing Journal and All Rise Magazine. Zhi Kai’s poetry & art are intermittently showcased on various and sundry websites such as: Arizona University, Maryland’s Justice Arts Coalition and Pennsylvania’s Prison Health News. Zhi Kai’s career goal is to prevent LGBTQ teen suicide, incarceration and advocate toward better solutions.