It's Not a Choice

Transgender People in America

Transgender people in America, especially kids and young adults, are experiencing a different, and in some ways easier, transition than people who transition to their authentic gender later in life. With these people, we - society - are called to broaden our perception of human expression. Transgender youth and young adults have a complex narrative that they must navigate. Luckily, there are many gender-affirming mental and medical professionals to aid in this journey. Conversely, there are many obstacles from people and institutions who misunderstand, judge, hate, and resist human expression different from their own.

With this project I aim:

1.  To use art and public exhibition as a medium to raise social awareness of transgender youth and adults, the inner and outer processes they experience, the day-to-day obstacles they experience, and how their families are affected.

2. To shed light on transgender people and their lives as part of the fabric of our society, to humanize their existence and make them tangible as people, not just a demographic or an abstract construct.

3. To advocate for transgender youth and adults through visual evidence and storytelling in support of their rights.

Danny – 15 – Trans Boy    High School Student, likes to sing and draw – play ball    “I’m not pretending.” - “It hasn’t been easy.”

Danny – 15 – Trans Boy

High School Student, likes to sing and draw – play ball

“I’m not pretending.” - “It hasn’t been easy.”

Luke – 15 – Trans Boy  High school student, Loves playing the piano and is interested in Archeology and Anthropology  “Being a trans boy doesn’t make me less of a boy.”

Luke – 15 – Trans Boy

High school student, Loves playing the piano and is interested in Archeology and Anthropology

“Being a trans boy doesn’t make me less of a boy.”

Landyn – 14 – Trans Boy  High School Student - Loves animals,  cooking, and skateboarding

Landyn – 14 – Trans Boy

High School Student - Loves animals,

cooking, and skateboarding

Moe – 35 – Trans Man   Science Teacher and Drag King  Loves to paint, hike, go fishing and mudding  His goal is to get a PhD in Biology  “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” Stephen Hawking

Moe – 35 – Trans Man

Science Teacher and Drag King

Loves to paint, hike, go fishing and mudding

His goal is to get a PhD in Biology

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” Stephen Hawking

Ames – 26 – Non-binary   Works in retail; loves to color and is a writer of poetry.  Their goal is to achieve a master’s degree in Social work  “There are more than two genders.”

Ames – 26 – Non-binary

Works in retail; loves to color and is a writer of poetry.

Their goal is to achieve a master’s degree in Social work

“There are more than two genders.”

Moe and Ames

Moe and Ames

Gail – 21 – Trans Woman   Student of Gen Studies, wants to study Psychology  Freelances in computer repair; loves to read science fiction and nonfiction  Enjoys going to the shooting range.  “I’m just a girl like the rest of you.”

Gail – 21 – Trans Woman

Student of Gen Studies, wants to study Psychology

Freelances in computer repair; loves to read science fiction and nonfiction

Enjoys going to the shooting range.

“I’m just a girl like the rest of you.”

Bella – 20 – Trans Woman  Dietary aide at retirement facility. Wants to go back to school.  Loves animation and cartoons. Wants to become an animator.   “I am a woman.”

Bella – 20 – Trans Woman

Dietary aide at retirement facility. Wants to go back to school.

Loves animation and cartoons. Wants to become an animator.

“I am a woman.”

Alex – 17 – Trans Boy   High School Student  Loves to draw and create digital art. Likes music – heavy metal. Wants to make his own comic.  “I want to be treated like all other students.”

Alex – 17 – Trans Boy

High School Student

Loves to draw and create digital art. Likes music – heavy metal. Wants to make his own comic.

“I want to be treated like all other students.”

Algernon – 21 – Trans Man  Works as EMT, going to Paramedic school, wants to go to Firefighter school  Loves hockey  “Take your life into your own hands.”

Algernon – 21 – Trans Man

Works as EMT, going to Paramedic school, wants to go to Firefighter school

Loves hockey

“Take your life into your own hands.”

Luke – 15 – Trans Boy  High school student  Loves playing the piano and is interested in Archeology and Anthropology  “Being a trans boy doesn’t make me less of a boy.”

Luke – 15 – Trans Boy

High school student

Loves playing the piano and is interested in Archeology and Anthropology

“Being a trans boy doesn’t make me less of a boy.”

The Trans Project is ongoing and will be continuously expanded. More trans kids and young adults want to be photographed and to tell their stories. I hope this important narrative will be seen by many! -- Alicia Keenon