She's an incredibly gifted 18-year-old student at the Kirov Academy of Ballet with lines for dayyyyys. She's also transgender. And describing her as inspiring is a bit of an understatement.
Jay began transitioning relatively recently, and has been documenting her journey on Instagram. She's an active advocate for transgender youth, the kind of role model that so many young people—inside and outside of the dance world—need right now.
The author in Nick Mauss' Transmissions at the Whitney Museum. Photo by Paula Court
During a period when I was intentionally taking a step back from performing, I was especially sensitive to the question, "So, are you auditioning for things?" Besides the insecurity of being a freelancer not hustling in that way, I also rankled at the complexity of what it means for a non-binary performer to audition.
To put it bluntly, there aren't many safe opportunities for us. That's because so many audition listings include gender-exclusionary phrases, so trans and non-binary artists either aren't eligible to show up or aren't sure whether or not they'd be welcome.