Gender Fluidity – Ross

January 17, 2015 – Culture

above: illustration by Sarah Moloney

Gender is an interesting and contentious issue these days, a discussion that could not possibly fit in one article. We’d like to take a look at certain aspects of gender over a number of posts, and examine it through a number of different lenses. We asked Ross a few questions about his recent art project based around gender fluidity; exploring and destroying the boundaries between genders. It is by no means a conclusive project, but an interesting entry into the ever-changing world of gender conception.


Well, when I was a baba I always kinda knew the premise of boys and girls colours was pure and utter bolloxology. Actually, I remember when I worked in Maxol a middle aged man wouldn’t take a pink lighter from me and demanded that I give him another colour. Silly rabbit. The whole gender thing is somewhat new to me. Like, I think in a lot of senses it is kinda embedded in me since ’92 and I was born in ’93 so… Although that being said, I think I have learnt a few new things about gender, I think mainly the language that goes with it. I’ve learnt so many new words. I don’t wanna play the gay card ‘cause I’m so much more than my sexuality and I think a lot of people cannot see that, homosexuals included, but I think me being in the closet for so long that I have a different view on things to some or even most people.

Photo by Sean Walsh

Photo by Sean Walsh

Drag? I had absolutely no thoughts on the subject until I was shown the world via the amazing documentary ‘’Paris Is Burning’’ and of course, ‘’RuPaul’s Drag Race’’. I know, I know, I’m so uncultured. I’ve always loved costume and dressing up and making people laugh or smile or scream ‘’Ohmylord, what is my son wearing?’’. I think drag is just kinda the next step. It’s so silly really. A boy wears heels for a day in ort collidge and the world laughs and now I’m in/famous on some boy’s phone from a school in Laois. Ah, the midlands. How I see it differently? Drag is comedy. Drag is being a clown. Drag is an expensive hobby. Drag is a poor paying job. Gender fluidity is really fucking difficult. Gender fluidity is LIFE.

Hmmm…. well, I had to hold my arms out to balance myself when I was walking in the heels (they were three sizes too small) if that answers your question but I don’t really think it does. The posing for the shoot was ridiculous. I thought I knew what I was doing but thank the fucking God, actually fuck her, thank Reece Davis. Again I’ll say the posing was so tough and again, if anyone is to blame it is Reece Davis, I repeat Reece Davis. How I felt? The heels were my crucifixion but I felt so empowered. I really felt amazing in them. Probably due to the amount of attention I was getting. Most people loved it and the others were just kinda I was ‘’acting’’ like a boy or ‘’acting’’ like a girl. Like, my female friends talk more about wanking than my male friends. I think I’m quite lucky and ignorant in that sense. I think I failed (I actually got a D- so bhula bus) in androgyny. I prefer the term genderfuckery. It was just the juxtaposition or conflict in the images that I loved. Heels with hairy legs and veiny feet. A moustache above my glossy lips. My lipgloss was in fact, popping. Oh I’d walk out of my house every day in my heels and do everything I usually do but in heels. The LUAS in heels. Tesco Value Meal Deal in heels. One euro cans of Dutch Gold in heels. Twisted Pepper in heels. Heels.

Ross Kelly. Photo by Sean Walsh

Ross, Photo by Sean Walsh. Makeup by Reece Davis

‘’Your legs are amazing’’ ‘’You actually have better legs than me’’ ‘’I wanna go home now ‘cause your legs are depressing me’’ ‘’Look at Ross’’ General laughter. People telling me how much they love me. People stopping in the streets and looking out windows. The sideways glances were the best, the people too polite or shy or whatever. Oh and the round of applause from my peers. Oh and my tutor telling me and others how happy he was that I was in his elective. Mainly tho, the girl in college that told me that I was ‘’extremely disrespectful’’ for a certain haute cotoure Hijab I made for myself.

I wanted to play with gender and try to be somewhere in the middle but like, I think I kinda fucked that up and just became this gender fuckery failure of a drag queen. I wanted to show how ridiculous gender roles are but having a male perform very female things i.e. shaving my legs or getting a bikini wax. I’m a lazy fucker so I just bought some size nine heels.

Ross Kelly. Photo by Sean Walsh. Makeup by Reece Davis.

Ross. Photo by Sean Walsh. Makeup by Reece Davis.

(the views expressed in this article are those of Ross and not of Hunt & Gather)
  • Words: Ross 
  • Photos: Sean Walsh
  • Makeup: Reece Davis

Illustration: Sarah Moloney