Heidi is a neuroqueer bisexual felt artist living in Redmond. They refer to their needle felted wool art as ‘felted whims’ because their art is born out of those sparks of inspiration that take hold and send them into a state of hyperfocused needle felting.
Felted wool, 9″x5″
‘Wisdom’ was inspired by monoecious trees, specifically by the book Wishtree by Katherine Applegate which is written from the perspective of a red oak tree named Red. In Chapter 5, Red states, “Call me she. Call me he. Anything will work.” That stuck with me.
I heavily relate to the freedom of not conforming to an idea of what society thinks I should be based on its perception of me. My whole life I have struggled to piece together and understand social constructs and how to fit inside tidy boxes.
‘Wisdom’ captures the freedom to just be and the courage to dismantle oppressive boxes.
Coming out (to myself) story
Uncovering my neuroqueer identity – which came later in life – was like a snowball effect that turned into an avalanche of self-discovery. (I’m bisexual…I’m also not exactly cisgender…I’m also autistic…I’m also ADHD…)
I had dusted off a lost spyglass that peered into my past providing new clarity and oh so many, “how did I not know?” moments. My true self unfolded as I unraveled compulsory heteronormativity, internalized homophobia, and internalized ableism (it’s truly an ongoing journey).
Performing as someone I’m not my whole life has taken a toll on my mental health. But I’ve shifted into this place where I’ve given myself permission to stop the contortion act to fit within some semblance of social norms and gender norms. My neurodivergence and queer identity are tightly woven together. Accepting that I’m a fluid human experiencing the world in a neuroqueer way has been the best gift I could possibly give myself.