What Does the Future of Circus Look Like for Young Transgender Circus Artists?

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What Does the Future of Circus Look Like for Young Transgender Circus Artists?

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the circus industry. With the shutdown of in-person entertainment and many circus studios, the future for many circus artists is up in the air. As a trans circus artist who is also currently in high school, I am looking towards my future career with a lot of uncertainty. Circus is everything I want to do with my life, but I have noticed that the current (or pre-COVID) circus world is quite inadequately populated with trans circus artists. However, I believe circus is in for a gender revolution of sorts in the upcoming years, with a rise in trans youth all throughout society. I reached out to some fellow young trans circus artists to ask them for their thoughts on the future of circus and their place in it.

Izzi Kessner: What is your name, age, pronouns, how you identify yourself, location, and discipline(s)? (E) My name is Eir Ólafs, I am 18 years old and I use they/them pronouns. I am Icelandic, asexual, and mainly a contortionist when it comes to circus arts.  (U) My name is Úlfgrímur, I am 17, and I use he/him pronouns. I am a trans man and bisexual.  I am from Iceland, and I train rola bola and duo acro. (N) My name is Noah. I’m 16 years old, my pronouns are he/they, and I’m a nonbinary transmasc. I’m from Massachusetts, USA and I do mostly handstands/acro and some aerial. (S) My name is Saffi Watson. I am 19 years old and I use they + she + he pronouns. I am a trans non-binary circus artist from Sea...

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Izzi Kessner

Izzi Kessner (they/them) is a circus performer based in Los Angeles, California. They specialize in aerial rope (corde lisse), acro-dance, and aerial straps. They create work to be a voice for young LGBTQ+ individuals and advocate for equality and acceptance. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, they have begun to create circus short films, exploring how the art form can be transformed to fit an online atmosphere. They share trans joy on their instagram page @cirquessner, as well as on their trans circus page @transcircusinternational.