Jonno Revanche: Non Binary Artist Finds Solace In Tumblr

Jonno Revanche recognises himself as non-binary, meaning he does not identify with being solely man nor woman. Growing up between Adelaide and rural Victoria, he turned to Tumblr and twitter for support and acceptance. Now he is a successful artist who edits magazines and curates exhibitions with many articles published bringing awareness to LGBTQ issues.

Image from ID

As a writer and multidisciplinary artist, Revanche edits for Vaein Zine and edits non-fiction for Voiceworks. His work has been published in I-D, Archer, Spook, Overland, Yen and Oyster. However, the location of his upbringing and his social anxiety meant that for a lot of the time he was isolated.

“I would spend hours lying on my bed, letting the evening light wash over me, quietly listening to music and scrolling through social media attempting to replicate what I could not access” said Revanche

He came to terms with his identity, while relating to other users on social media.

“When I was uncertain about my latent queerness and gender identity, witnessing other young people navigate those same issues in an open, honest way was incredibly validating for me” said Revanche

He did not have any formal art or photography training but he did have a strong urge for creative expression. Although now he says he is surrounded with people who accept him, he says he does notice the systems and attitudes that misrepresent gender and sexuality still exist.

“Social media allowed me to express elements of myself I felt like I couldn’t in my day to day life. I became my own saviour as I looked into the divine mirror of representation and realised I wasn’t unlovable and monstrous – I was ultimately and supremely myself” said Revanche.

His images are lively, raw, realistic, sensual, curious and sensitive. The lighting is very natural and untreated. One shot shows drops of water on a man’s back with the majority of his face cropped out of the picture. Another shows a woman sucking a lolly pop, again with the eyes cropped out of shot. In another gender is unidentifiable as the person looks at their reflection in a broken mirror, dealing with issues of identity.

“It’s been proven that the ability to express one’s gender identity honestly and even medically transitioning leads to better mental health amongst trans people. By adapting to a fairer, more modern understanding of gender identity and by listening to people when they tell their stories, we can create better spaces for people who are disenfranchised by the gender binary” said Revanche