Thoughts on Trans* Bodies

So much of the mainstream trans* narrative focuses on our bodies. Specifically, the ways our bodies deny us or are used to deny us our genders. This can be especially hard for non-binary people who’s bodies, to most eyes, will never be non-binary.  I’m fascinated by the ways and moments in which our bodies affirm our genders. I love the moments where our bodies can be true embodiments of the totality of our genders and I wish that I could capture them in such a way that even cis people could see what I see. I’d really like to work on a photo project (or partner with someone who knows their way around a camera) to take pictures of pre-op/non-op, pre/no hormones trans* people  (with a focus on non-binary people) that capture these moments.


3 thoughts on “Thoughts on Trans* Bodies

  1. I think that’s a cool idea! I consider my body to be non-binary. I used to work as a model and encouraged photographers to work with my body as non-binary. With some it was groundbreaking (one photographer who I worked with was very inspired by the work, and ended up working with an organization serving trans youth and photographing many more trans folks) and with others it was a struggle. I always pushed for it regardless and I like to think that I expanded their horizons a bit.

    I have been thinking of doing portraits of myself that emphasize certain ways I see myself or certain parts of my body that I celebrate. There’s, I feel, a major message for trans folks that our acceptance depends on covering up any part of ourselves that might give others a conflicted idea about us. So doing more revealing photos (when a person is comfortable doing so) could be a way to challenge that and say “Whether I’m binding/packing/tucking/etc or not, my internal gender identity is still there, and I still deserve to be understood as non-binary.”

    I wish I was closer so I could participate in your project (if you do it).

  2. Thanks! I think your portrait project sounds really cool too. And I definitely agree with you that there’s “major message for trans folks that our acceptance depends on covering up any part of ourselves that might give others a conflicted idea about us”. I know I struggle with feeling like I have a legitimate claim to a trans* identity/deserve to be taken seriously as a trans* person because I don’t bind everyday or even most days, even though I know and really believe that my gender isn’t any more or less legitimate depending on what I am or am not wearing.

    As for participating if you’ve got a camera I totally wouldn’t be against you taking a picture of yourself and sending it to me if you wanted.

    And I knew it was you, Dylan of a thousand names. 🙂


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