Go High Signs

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I make and distribute heartfelt posters of support & protest.

I started Go High as my means to stay sane during the Trump presidency. When Justice Kennedy retired from the Supreme Court on July 31, 2018, I felt my world collapsing from under me–he was a key part of the judicial coalition keeping gay marriage and adoption safe. His sudden and advantageous retirement shattered my illusions that we could ride this all out–it was now open season on the 14th admendment and so many my family included–were now in real peril.

I lost my voice. I was so stressed out I developed acid reflux and could not really speak for a couple of weeks.

I had been making signs but now, it became my Work. I sketched out signs each morning, filling piles of them over the coming years. I developed my method fro lettering at haste, and built a cart for postering on the go. I donate posters to protests, stamping each with my mark–each one has to be part of my effort to go high.

This summer, I produced over a hundred signs for March for Our Lives rallies in New Jersey, New York, and Washington DC. I was able to join the gathering in DC, which was so invigorating. Since then, I have been able to find my work showing up here and there to illustrate articles in the press.

I am thrilled see my signs in photos and news stories–it pleases me to no end. I make my signs to reach as many people as I can—I send the messages to reach others who might not see them otherwise. I teach people to make their own, using phrases that stay on the right side of history. We must signal in ways that reach as many news feeds as possible.

Of course, the broadcast is only a small part, but I have deep faith in sending out a beacon. If I send enough out, I always get a reply. If I am consistent, I always find someone new with whom to speak. Now, multiply that by thousands and we can reach people who are cowed by being in the minority in their community, who may not realize they could make a difference. We can let others know they are not alone. We need signs because we need that invitation to converse.

When I grew up in rural Virginia, I lived in terror. I was gay, poor, female—I knew exactly how little my concerns meant to the dominant culture around me. I sought community through zines–those scrappy little books people made on their own. The zines came in the mail, speaking of realms I would never have found otherwise, saving my life many times over. My posters are an extension of that DIY publishing; I craft each one with as much feeling as I can. I give each a whiff of art with my message, a small burst of humanity behind an oft-chanted truism. I am alive and so are you! Let’s change the world!

I see the United States as a great conversation, a covenant with one other for better or worse. A protest poster is a declaration–a holler over the din. If I craft a message that gets attention, I extend the conversation to someone who might need to feel included. I keep my country alive and fulfill the covenant anew.

Select Protest Shots

Libby Clarke / Studio
I make things and teach people to change the world for the better.
Let’s Change the World
If you also strive to give this world your best effort, let’s work together. Reach Out