A VISUAL STORY TELLING PROJECT BY MARIANA MONASI FROM PACHAMAMA CREATIVE CELEBRATING MOTHERHOOD IN ALL ITS FORMS. A PROJECT OF THE HAWAIʻI LGBT LEGACY FOUNDATION, PRESENTED BY CENTRAL PACIFIC BANK.
“weʻre just human beings expressing ourselves. i wish there was a better understanding, instead of snapping to a judgement. go to a drag club and see [the] performances, before you decide and demonize us.” — JERRICA
Jerrica Benton (formerly known as Alleciya Ashton) is the mother of Haus of Benton and her family includes Sativa, Melanina and Blessica. The family met with Mariana to talk story and be photographed in front of the Hawaiʻi Walls (formerly known as Pow Wow Hawaiʻi) murals on the Fisher Hawaiʻi in Kakaʻako.
“I think growing up I didnʻt really want to be associated with māhū or Hawaiian or anything like that. So, fast forward, I started performing and I had gone through it, and I was like, you know, Iʻm going to change my name and just try to do something different for myself.” — Jerrica Benton
“I had kids previous, other kids, but I feel like at the time, I was still growing up too, so I wasnʻt as much of a really good mother figure. But I stumbled across this really pretty, well, she was a boy at the time…Sativa…and we just became friends.” — Jerrica Benton
“Each girl brings their own…just like as a family would. Everyone brings their own uniqueness; thatʻs the beauty of growing up in Hawaiʻi. Everyoneʻs life shapes into something. Sometimes we donʻt know when weʻve learned a lesson, but then… later on in life… you know?” — Jerrica Benton
“We still have relationships with our parents; very grateful for that. But there are some things that biological parents would never understand. Iʻve been fortunate to dabble in every side of the spectrum, and itʻs just been really gratifying.” — Jerrica Benton