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who IS MARS?

One of the most defining moments in my life was my first viewing of the popular Netflix Series Orange is the New Black. As a young queer person, a show that centered its plot around queer relationships and people was bold, unapologetic, and eye-opening. Seeing Laverne Cox, an openly trans woman, embraced in the plotline changed my perspective on everything that I could ever wish to be. But it wasn’t until I saw Ruby Rose on the screen that I started thinking of my own life in relation to the big screen.

My "awakening" happened in the span of a 5 minute and 18 second YouTube video by the title of Break Free - Ruby Rose, which helped me understand why the actor stood out to me so much; I wasn’t the girl everyone had encouraged me to perform as for so long.

My transition started in high school as a blank slate. They/them pronouns became a way of expression that enabled me to stop performing offstage, and I knew I wanted to utilize that expression for the many trans people who were in the same place I was. While trans people have always existed around us, it wasn’t until I saw a trans person living their truth onscreen that I recognized my own transness.

Having not started theatre until the role of Fester in The Addams Family Musical my senior year of high school, my time in college in the Acting program at Ball State University has been spent making myself a representative of trans issues, discussion and discourse around my and others’ identities. I spend my time trying to reframe society’s view of transness as centered around death, depression, and dysphoria to one of empowerment, love, visibility, laughter, and euphoria.

Through gender nonconformity, I want to explore the world of film, theatre, and expression in every attemptable role and aesthetic I can. Whether it be through trans comedy on TikTok, YouTube videos discussing internet trans discourse, modeling, or advocating for social causes on Twitter, I aim to use my platform to create a safe space for all the trans youth who search for one.

I want to move through the world with as much openness and love as the trans icons before me. Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Candis Cayne, and others have taught me how much empowerment comes through open, unapologetic acceptance of my identity, and I hope to continue their work for the betterment of my own community through art.

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