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Vasi Samudra Devi

Vasi is a multidisciplinary transgender artist, writer, performance artist, poet, and actress - working from and based in Sri Lanka. Her performances focus on trans experiences as a Sri Lankan transgender woman, and they are currently working on a painting series focusing on T4T relationships, sexual health, positive artistic depictions of trans relationships, and the dynamic nature of trans and non-binary sex and love. Her recent project, this painting series featured, is one of the many creations Vasi has created!

"Playing Woman is about my dysphoria and gender envy, a confusion about whether I could love women or whether I wanted to be seen as one by other (mostly cis) women and nothing more. I was always obsessed with my cishet women friends, and as I was so heavily closeted back in Peradeniya, the university where I did my BA, which is highly conservative, I was also misread in my attempts to be physically friendly and hug and hold the hands of many of the women I was friends with. It was a time where I was denied a lot of affection."


 

Playing Woman

Where is the root of a love and envy but in a recognition, shell of masculinity

And soul of a woman, in feminine gazes I was known, called man by all, acting through imprisoned soul, this closet femininity.

I am actress I am actor, I am nothing, human performer, dysphoria beats me in my heart, depression rung with the hammer...

Thought I only wanted love,

But I wanted to be seen.

I was never beautiful back then, not even to me.

In theater I could always be the woman that I was...in life I was a performance that would never end...and in that jealousy I could not be me, could not love me!

Did I love many a woman or was it wishful thinking, do a Peradeniya cultural reset and take out the pretense of cishet man, in gender envy I thrived, gazing at womankind.

I was never beautiful back then, not even to me...

I want your fingers wrapped in mine (I want them to be mine)

I want to see your feet walk my path (I want them to be mine)

I want your hair on my shoulders (I want them to be mine)

I want your chest to fill with your breaths (I want them to be mine)

I want your pain, I want your joys (I want them to be mine)

I was actress

I was nothing.

I was never beautiful back then, not even to me...

I was unseen in their eyes and they never looked at me.

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