As a trans and non-binary person, my life has long been an exploration of the social vectors, individual ideas, and expressive bodies that comprise the notion of the self. Inspired by Virginia Oldoini, who was among the first women to self-author a photographic portrait, I similarly use photography to nuance the reductionist idea that gender exists on a spectrum between binary poles, bringing to light the multitude of social, civil, physical, and even fleeting affects that comprise the human subject at any given moment.
“THEY/THEM” is a collaborative body of work, stemming from my experiences creating safe spaces with other trans people, giving us room to grow and discover the variety of meanings that we attain in our daily lives. In a safe studio, I’ve had the privilege to work with genderfluid, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people who, sitting singularly in the darkness, present themselves as a legible surface suffuse with a dense and intricate interiority. The series aims to intervene within the field of contemporary mass-media imagery, inviting the audience to engage the portrait through an open and indefinite dialogue with the sitter. By embracing this positive expression of nuanced ambiguity, I hope in turn to examine the expectation of gender and selfhood which the audience has carried into their experience of the portrait.