Spencer Kissel – Lincoln, Nebraska

“I just hope that we can create a society where there is equality, not just for race but also gender, sexuality, women’s rights, and then also people that are coming to our country – we stand for ‘Freedom’ and we need to allow people to be free here, and I just want everyone to feel as though we can be there for each other.”

“I’m Spencer Kissel, I’m 22 from Ashland, Nebraska. I study music and LGBT studies at the University of Nebraska – Omaha, and I work at Starbucks. That’s my life.”

“[My home town] is right between Omaha and Lincoln, right off the interstate, exit 420. It’s a little, small town. It’s like perfectly in the middle between the two. It’s like 2500 [people]”

“Actually, it wasn’t like much of an issue – I’ve always been the type of person who’s into bigger cities, and when I moved to Lincoln awhile back, I just liked that everything was nearby. Because living in a small town you have to drive to go to Walmart or go to Target – it takes like half-an-hour just to get there, whereas it can take me just 5-10 minutes here, so I feel like I adjusted pretty quickly, because I’d just been wanting to live in a bigger town.”

“Just my family, my family’s all there…but not really, no, [I don’t miss it].”

“I’ve been very passionate about music all my life, that’s just something I do. And I had a scholarship – I went to a different college in Nebraska, Kearney – and I got a scholarship there for music, and so I just did that. And I do side projects on my own with music and it’s just something I’ve always been passionate about. And then, for my minor, I identify as a trans guy and so I’ve just always been really interested in LGBT studies, it’s something I’m very passionate about also. Just being around the community and also having to educate other people, just in general, is something I’ve always really loved doing.”

“My main studies were percussion. In college I had to learn woodwind and brass instruments – I never got to strings, but that’s okay. Piano, had to learn that, and then I taught myself guitar. But my main instrument is voice, so I’m mainly a singer. But I took a year off school to transition, so my voice is different now – so that’s be ‘a thing’ to deal with.”

“I was never out when I was growing up in my small town. I always felt different, I always felt unsure of who I was, but it wasn’t until I got to college that I finally came out. After I came out, I moved back home and I took that year off, so, living there and then surrounding myself with everybody who’s known me my whole life, it was really awkward because a lot of people didn’t know what to do or they just wouldn’t talk to me. So, I didn’t really know what to do – it’s been over a year now, so everybody’s kinda like – the people that matter know what they’re doing. And I think that’s why I’ve always liked a big town feel, because I can kind of just keep to myself and my group of people…”

“My family was super accepting, they were just like ‘We love you.’ And all my friends either saw it coming, because it was a long come-out, or it didn’t change their feelings about who I was. That was really great.”

“I feel like my trans identity is, at this point in time, my life. My trans identity is a very big part of who I am because I get misgendered often. I mean, I’ve only been on hormones for a little while, so, the people I surround myself with – random people, you know, like customers for example – they don’t really know anything, most of them are older people, older generation, who just don’t know anything about trans people and so I feel like, when I tell people about myself, that’s always the thing I have to say. Because either they’ll call me a girl or they’ll just be like ‘oh…’””

“It was definitely something I had to – it was either go through transitioning with my voice and lose my singing voice or keep my singing voice and then struggle with my own identity. So, as far as with the singing and all that, it was almost like learning a whole new instrument. You know, I had to learn different ways to sing – like re-learning, to train it. That’s been hard, especially losing a part of my singing – I can’t sing high really anymore – so it’s all about development for me. But I knew that transitioning was what I needed to do, so I don’t regret it.”

Limited edition print available (alpha edition):
Giclée (Archival Inkjet) print w/ quotes, in window cutout, typed on artist’s 1955 Olympia SM3 Typewriter.
1” Matte Black Frame, 2” Ivory Mat, Archival Hinge Mount, UV Glass.
10″ x 10″ (Framed: 16″ x 16″)

Spencer - Limited Edition, Framed Alpha Series
Click here for more information about limited edition prints.