"Visible Bodies: Transgender Narratives Retold" is a San Diego-based photography exhibition that seeks to rewrite the way that stories are told about transgender, gender-varient, and gender non-conforming individuals.
Through a process that pairs captions and stories written by participants with close collaboration between the subject and photographer, the work produced through this project allows individuals to communicate to the viewer what gender identity means to themselves through a variety of mediums. "Visible Bodies" is part of a fledgling movement of transgender people telling their own, personal stories, often in contrast to the biased and narrow framework transgender narratives are constructed about them in mainstream media.
The project itself began as a small student initiative at the University of California, San Diego, gaining an immense amount of community support and interest and eventually blossoming into an exhibition with over 30 participants. The gallery opened on May 11 at the San Diego LGBT Pride office, drawing in a crowd of over 200 people.
"Every photo tells a different story, one that is personal to the participant instead of being dictated by the producers or photographer," said Liat Wexler, co-producer of the project in a statement to The Huffington Post. "The process of collaborating with Wolfgang, the photographer, empowered the participants and gave them a chance to see themselves in a new light."
Wexler and Scott Duane, both featured in the project, curated and produced "Visibile Bodies" together. "This project changes the conversation about trans people," said Duane. "We're going beyond before and after pictures and discussions of hormones and surgery. Instead, we're talking about our careers, our partners, parents, and kids, our losses and triumphs -- and how being trans interacts with those aspects of our lives. Our goal is to heighten the quality of the dialogue, and I think we've done that."
"Visible Bodies," having completed its 30-day exhibition, is now attempting to raise funding to extend the project into Minneapolis and Portland.
Images from the exhibition can be viewed in the slideshow below.
(Some images may not be safe for all work or other sensitive environments.)