This is Trans
a photography journey of awareness and love
What is the project about?
This project was started at the beginning of 2022 as a way to bring visibility and awareness to transgender people of all forms. Transgender can be mistakenly thought of as a binary concept in which a person has to transition from one binary gender to the other, aka male to female or female to male. Stigmas surrounding the community have pushed a belief that a transgender person is only valid if they transition fully with the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and gender confirming surgeries. While some transgender people do transition in this way; not all do. With the help of Stonewall Columbus, I am seeking to bring to light that transgender is an umbrella that covers an array of identities; and that each are unique beautiful and fully valid. Participants in this project have been photographed as they are, showing the world that they are completely valid in their unique and diverse transgender identity and presentation. All participants have contributed their personalities, their identities, their compassion, and their desire to see a world that truly accepts and loves them for the beautiful humans that they are.
Where can it be seen?
Current viewing takes place at Stonewall Columbus, Monday through Friday 10am to 5pm beginning November 19th until January of 2023
The next scheduled gallery showing is set for March 31, 2023 at Studio West 117 in Lakewood, Ohio
To purchase the coffee table book click here
Some of the digital art is available to purchase as well here
How is this project different from other Transgender galleries?
“This is Trans” is a project that was built upon two fundamental ideas; education and inclusion. Other transgender galleries and projects have done an incredible job beginning the discussion and showing the world that being transgender is beautiful. This project seeks to break down stigmas that have plagued the transgender community and bring together the incredible diversity within the community. Several participants in this project joined in because they had been told that they are not transgender for multiple reasons; but mainly due to the gatekeeping within the community. To be transgender was thought to be a person who needed to transitional socially and medically from one binary gender to the other, aka male to female or female to male. To be validated as a transgender person, you had to pass all of the necessary tests, socially live within the binary gender norms, and have all medical procedures including surgeries and hormones. While it is true that some transgender people do live authentically like this; it is completely false to mandate that all transgender people must live this way to be valid. This is Trans seeks to show that being transgender is an umbrellas term, and simply means to identify differently than the assign gender/sex you were assigned at birth. This includes a while array of beautiful and diverse individuals, who only seek to live authentically and be validated for their transgender identity.
To accomplish these educational tasks, artist Mx. Vincent-Natasha (NV) Gay, uses a portrait gallery in which participants have chosen to display themselves as they wish the world to see them authentically. These participants are not staged in any way; rather, they are captured in a way to show the viewer exactly who they are as a beautiful human. As well, each participant has included a quote to the question, "What does being transgender mean to me?" Each quote is uniquely personal, and each is more moving and touching than the last.
The gallery will display each participant's portrait, pronouns, and quote. For privacy reasons, the participants' names will not be displayed.
The portraits will not be made available for purchase; however, there will be a coffee table book with every participants portrait, quote, and pronouns that will be made available for purchase.
How can I become involved?
If you are a transgender individual and would like to participate in the portrait galley, simply message NV either on social media or here on the website. The gallery will continue on across the country and will continue to capture more and more individuals.
If you are an organization that would like to get involved or would like to learn more, please contact Mx. Vincent-Natasha Gay by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow along via Instagram at @nv.gay and @mx.gay_photography
If you would like to donate towards the funding of printing, framing, and installing the project, please click the here or venmo @nv_gay with the description of donations for This is Trans.
Below are just some of the portraits in the gallery, along with their answer to the question "what does being trans mean to you?"