I just want to record this here.
Diana wrote a beautiful biography on the fly when she was trying to land a gig in art with an LGBTQ art gallery in Wilton Manors earlier this year. This is what she wrote (note: we had many conversations about pronouns, including a recent one where she went back to ‘she’ as her top pronoun choice as opposed to ‘they’):
“Diana Hemingway was born in 1970 to a travelling family of Irish gypsies, making their way around the Southern and Western states of America, working flea markets and carnivals. She learned to make folk and indigenous jewelry at an early age, which the family sold along with the jewelry and art her parents made. The family settled down in South Florida in the late 1970’s, returning to her mother’s family home in the Fort Lauderdale area.
Being an intensely curious child, Diana excelled in science and art. She developed a passion for environmental activism, and dropped out of high school – working on campaigns for Greenpeace. In 1989, she attended college to study photography under Teresa Harb Diehl, through which she was afforded the opportunity to work with Michael A. Smith on a commissioned project. Diana’s first published photograph was of Smith working in the field, which was included in Broward County’s Cultural Quarterly. That same year, two photographs of hers were accepted into the Florida 28 Exhibition, a multi-medium art competition among Florida’s community colleges. One of those won an Honorable Mention.
Diana left pursuing the arts as she dealt with the demands of adult life and poverty. She dedicated much of her spare time to pursuing activism and community service, while working primarily in the automotive industry and other trade professions. In her mid and late 30’s, Diana wrestled with her sexual orientation and gender identity. Having been assigned male at birth, she transitioned from male to female, and identifies now as genderqueer and pansexual.
Transition lead to experiencing employment discrimination and loss of family, while mental and physical health issues ended in cycles of poverty and homelessness. Diana turned to nature for solace, which moved her to return to landscape photography and sculpture. This fit well with her volunteer work with environmental organizations. She created works for Trash 2 Art, and exhibited a piece at Francisco Sheuat’s Art Expressions Gallery.
Though nearly destitute, Diana continued to shoot in both wilderness and urban areas in South Florida. Footprints Magazine published her photograph taken while hiking in Big Cypress National Park. In addition, she is also a published writer. She made and currently makes her living doing various forms of sex work, and considers sensuality to be her greatest art. Her hope is to channel a lifetime of triumph and suffering into future work, emotionally connecting the intersections of gender identity, sexuality, disability, feminism, and sex work, to advance understanding and empathy of the multiple oppressions her and others face.”