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Gender Mending.

March 29, 2019


With all the disunity in the political scene, my own life seems peaceful, calm and orderly.

However I do have an ongoing discussion with my husband regarding transgender issues. I am not preoccupied with details of birth certificates and genes.  I feel all the thorny social questions that surround us now will sort themselves out: bathroom and locker room use, sports, military, legal records, etc.

Gender identity, for me, rests somewhere on a broad spectrum of possibilities, and I feel lenient with allowing a person to find their own place on that spectrum as they grow into themselves.


My husband, broad minded though he is, is stuck on the chromosome issue. Those can’t be changed. Females are XX and males are XY. Full stop.

While I was thinking about this, I noticed in my increasing us of hand embroidery, that X's and Y's tend to show up all the time. I've been obsessed recently with the Japanese Sashiko stitching, and boro (mending). 


I decided to create a piece that combines mending and gender.

Materials: vintage feed saks, fabrics, embroidery threaa

Methods: hand stitching, raw edge applique and reverse applique

Martha Ressler

Gender Mending

20 x 16'



20×16 '

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