Danish artist Lili Elbe discovered she was a woman while modeling women’s’ clothing for Gerda Gottlieb’s, Lili’s wife, iconic illustrations in early 20th century. When I was first exposed to a collection of her memoirs entitled Man into Woman, I was struck by how Lili referred to her gender transition prior to the language being influenced by medcal and psychiatric institutions. I wondered how I would relate to my own transition without words such as dysphoria, transsexual, or even transgender. Her accounts documented her internal conflicts and the liberatory nature of self-discovery.

When I heard a movie based of David Ebershoff’s fictional book based of Elbe was in production (starring Nicole Kidman no less!) I was mortified. I decided to create a piece based off Elbe that would seek to portray her life with all the complexities that magical and tragic experiences entail.

lili longed to feel her insides has been performed to live audiences across the country. In the Spring of 2011, I collaborated with filmmaker Wren Warner and experimental musician Elliott Harvey to create a short film. The film version has been featured at the Gender Reel Film Festival in Philadelphia and at the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival.

Adelaide Windsome is a queer fabulist and multimedia artist who performs under the moniker Geppetta. She creates dark and whimsical fairy tales as told through puppetry and performance to confront themes of trauma, grief, depression, and the beauty of survival. Her work as been described as “cryptic vaudevillian surrealism” on bitchmedia’s SM{ART} and as “somewhere between Kate Bornstein and Edward Gorey” by Julia Serano, author of Whipping Girl.

Windsome has been featured nationally with Fresh Meat Productions, Heels on Wheels Glitter Roadshow, and the Painted Bride Art Center, among others. She has facilitated workshops on gender, art, and activism at various colleges and universities including Western Washington and Harvard Law.

Above all else she believes in embracing melancholy with magical.

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