Another biographical ensemble, titled ““Pubescent,” is a yellow two-piece featuring felt cutouts of writhing torsos placed atop the wearer’s breasts. The outfit, with its exaggerated, proportions, visualizes the changes a body undergoes during puberty, or gender transition. Awkward, unruly and ultimately beautiful, the outfit visualizes the experience of inhabiting a changing body.
Schafer also communicates her personal experiences through illustrations, like this 2015 series on Rookie, which navigates the difficulty of dressing up for formal events like school dances, where a strict gender binary was especially enforced. “I longed to escape, and to express what I felt inside me — not what was expected of me,” she said in a statement.
So far, Schafer has enjoyed incorporating the spirit of activism into her art. “I want to do something meaningful with my work,” she said. “Being able to translate my experiences as a trans person into my artwork, and using my work as a platform to support marginalized communities in general, those are things that are really important to me now. They’re definitely becoming part of my artistic identity.”