A transgender woman is challenging Chicago’s definition of the female breast
The Washington Post
by Meagan Flynn
November 29, 2018
The performance begins with Bea Sullivan-Knoff emerging on stage with a brown paper bag over her head. It says, on all four sides, “Touch Me.”
Sullivan-Knoff, a 26-year-old transgender performance artist in Chicago, appears fully nude, inviting the audience to objectify her, she said. It’s supposed to be ironic, a literal depiction of the way she and other transgender people feel when the government dictates the terms of their bodies: deeply vulnerable, sometimes terrified.
“There was something empowering about being able to do that and being fine at the end of it,” she told The Washington Post.
But in 2016, a venue where she was scheduled to perform called with disappointing news, Sullivan-Knoff said. She could neither perform fully nude nor, as Sullivan-Knoff proposed alternatively, only from the waist-up, because a Chicago ordinance prohibited it.