This year I’m very excited to have my friend, high tech guy and photographer Richard Man, displaying his work. Known for an interest in transformation, Richard has been working on a project portraying contemporary transgender people; check it out at http://richardmanphoto.com/PICS/HeartsOnOurSleeves-Portfolio/.
The South Bay Trans Day of Visibility is very lucky: Richard is printing out a number of pieces in this project on grand size, and hanging them on the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center! People approaching the Center, by foot or by auto, will be welcomed with this artistic display! Richard is also interested in adding more photos to his project—look for his photo setup outdoors (weather willing) if you’re interested in participating (or perhaps in purchasing a print!).
Here is his artist’s statement:
“We’d like to think that in 2017 we have made great strides in equality and human rights. Unfortunately, transgender people are still being ostracized in society and even used by politicians to advance divisive agendas. The homicide rates for transgender people keeps reaching new highs, with 27 victims in 2016 and already 7 by the end of February 2017. Suicide rates, especially among transgender youth, are also quite high, with a study showing that 30 percent of transgender youth have attempted suicide at least once.
In the end, transgender people are simply people. People born in bodies that don’t match their brain’s gender, people who do not adhere to gender binary archetypes, and sometimes even people who are born intersex. There is no “transgender agenda”. Transgender people come from all walks of life, and just want to grow up and live a good life like everyone else. Some recently transitioned, some transitioned a long time ago, and some are just most comfortable being in expressing a non-binary gender .
The goal of this portrait project is to photograph transgender people and tell their stories. I have opted to use a large format film camera for this project, partly for the photographic results, but also because by using an older process that takes time, I can make connections with the people being photographed, and hopefully demonstrate my sincerity. I believe the stories of marginalized people need to be told, and be told in a respectful manner.”