Location: New York, New York, United States
Every 29 hours, a transgender person is murdered. Equally heartbreaking, approximately half of transgender youth will attempt suicide before they reach their 20th birthday.
“Transcending Self,” a portrait and interview project documents, to date, 35 transgender and non-binary youth aged 3–20, in Europe and the USA. It questions what living an authentic life looks like. The project is ongoing.
While transgender stories are often framed in a way that reduces us to our physicality—emphasizing difference—“Transcending Self” brings viewers into the heart of our experience, enabling connections to the underlying humanity of each participant. The portraits and interviews focus on each one of them as a whole person, unique beyond their gender identity. Everyday, stories of love and struggle—often overlooked—are serving as a source of hope.
The further the project progressed, the more it felt like I was hearing the story of my own childhood. When I began this project in 2014, I had no idea that it pertained to me. As much as I’m an advocate for the trans community, I had internalized transphobia and struggled to accept myself as transgender. Recognizing this reaffirmed to me the importance of this work. In recent months, the project has inspired me to begin a series documenting my own gender transformation journey through surgery and hormones.