Photographer: Errol Daniels
Exhibit Title: Trans*Americans
Location: United States
Transgender people begin to face challenges early in life. When a person discovers that they belong in a different body, that they are actually someone of the opposite gender with which they were born, roadblocks are formed. While insurance coverage for sex reassignment surgery has improved, rejection from families and friends leaves transgender youth especially at risk for homelessness and more likely to engage in behaviors that can have a negative impact on one’s life. My mission is to use photography to reveal the humanity, courage and strength of young people in the Trans* Community.
I find myself drawn to projects involving people who are disadvantaged in some way. My subjects are complex and challenged by physical, social, mental, or political issues. I try to reveal the dignity, humanity and courage of people who many don’t think about in their daily lives.
For transgender individuals, the time before, during and after physical transformation comes with many challenges. Even after they have made their transition and discovered more comfort in their self- expression and identity, transgender individuals still experience alarmingly high rates of violence, assault, abuse, and discrimination. According to the U.S. Office for Victims of Crime, it is estimated that 50% of transgender individuals are sexually abused or assaulted at some point in their lives.
My goal is to chisel through these statistics and show the humanity behind them. Transgender individuals go through a unique process of self-realization, but they are regular people who face the same challenges, fears, and ambitions as cisgender individuals. Still, there is disconnect in society when it comes to empathizing with transgender people.
I am grateful to all the people who opened their homes, their lives and their hearts to me and my camera.
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