Dana St. Amand says the “least interesting” thing about her is that she is a trans woman.
“What I’m really trying to do with the content I post is just show an existing trans person,” she told In The Know. “So much of seeing trans people in the media or hearing about trans people in the news, it’s all so focused on our trauma… [I] focus on being a happy person who happens to be trans who has been through some things in the past but it doesn’t matter because i am happy now.
What makes Amand happy is making swords.
Most of the time when you think of a blacksmith or blacksmith, you probably think of a man hitting hot metal on an anvil with a hammer. But the reality of the process is much more complicated.
“It’s about 10 percent of our final work,” explained Amand. ” What we do [as bladesmiths] that is, we do the general anvil shaping in the smithy, then bring it to the crusher and do all one finishing job – the finishing shaping job.
Amand’s specialty is to give the impression that his finished pieces were made by hand. There are little imperfections here and there that she loves, and that her clients – which she summed up as “chefs who need good knives”, “pagans who want blades for rituals” and ” queer people who want swords to offer their partners with “- liking too.
Honestly, are all of these products overkill or are they really worth the $$$?
“My joy comes from doing whatever I want,” she said.
His slogan – made famous by its TikTok – is “Be cheerful, make swords”, a play on the old expression, “Be gay, do crime”, Which she said In The Know was a phrase that popped up back in the days when marriage equality was not legalized – the“ crime ”being to love whoever you want.
Although marriage equality has come a long way since that time, the blacksmith world is still largely dominated by straight white males. Amand therefore considers it a privilege that she was able to have the space and time to learn her skills and acquire the necessary tools to continue making swords.
“I think it would be a disservice for me not to give [skills] back to the under-represented people who would otherwise not have the opportunity to go anywhere and learn these things, ”she said. “[It] can be very difficult to approach because there are these patriarchal norms in this area. “
A former student who Amand said stood out for her was a “tiny, non-binary person who looks like he can get them to jump over the back fence.” This student was one of the best Amand had seen, and they could hit a hammer like no one else, proving that, like in most areas dominated by white men, there is also room for them. other.
“Just breaking down these walls of these false patriarchal rules surrounding gender identity and the work you can or cannot do is a very valuable thing that I can do to give back to my community,” said Amand.
Amand added that she had formed her own community of trans and non-binary blacksmiths and blacksmiths who all connected through social media.
“I think it’s more common than you might think, and it’s just not very well known to the public, because a lot of blacksmiths and blacksmiths, at least in my own experience, are quite introverted,” he said. she declared. “We don’t necessarily scream at ourselves on the rooftops. We just want to do our things and move on.
Growing up in Manhattan, Kansas, Amand first got into swords because his parents would read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings to her. She was immersed in fantasy culture from a young age – it even served as an escape when she began to question her gender identity – and she began forging as a hobby several years before she officially come out.
“It was through this process of creating something new out of something else – taking different pieces and learning how they fit together to create what I wanted it to be – that I have was able to accept a lot of the repression that I felt growing up and a lot of those feelings that I didn’t understand, ”she said.
But in the end, the forge is just something that makes Amand happy.
“How did I get to the point where I kind of have thick skin surrounding the way other people treat my trans identity and stuff?” ” she asked. “I’m finally just gonna say shit and live my life.”
Donate to Amand GoFundMe here to help her expand her store and create a space where people from all walks of life can come and learn.
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If you enjoyed reading this interview, check out In The Know’s conversation with the first trans athlete to compete on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team.
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The post office TikToker strives to make blade making more inclusive: I’m “a cheerful person who happens to be trans” appeared first on Aware.