Photos celebrating the north of England’s trans and non-binary communities

Hutchinson, Xanthe (2019) Photos celebrating the north of England’s trans and non-binary communities. DAZED Media.

Abstract

This output is a creative project using fashion photography to explore the visibility of young queer, trans, and gender-non-conforming individuals in the north. Hutchinson originated and project-managed, scouting and photographing the subjects in their own homes. Hutchinson collaborated with writer/editor Tori West, and Ashleigh Kane, Arts & Culture Editor, whom prepared the interviews. Research Process: Hutchinson undertook this project in order to discover and document the significant issues this cohort experience today, primarily discrimination, moderation and transphobic attitudes. Hutchinson also explored the finer substrate of BAME trans people in the north in order to gain insight into this often unrepresented niche of the LGBTQ community. Following a call on Instagram, a diverse range of subjects were selected. The subjects were briefed in detail on the purpose of the project. Research Insights: This process educated and informed readers who were previously unaware of such issues. Feedback from peers reinforced the sense of gratitude for giving greater visibility to the subjects. She was able to partake in discursive and engaging conversations which addressed and unpicked many preconceived ideas relating to sexuality, surgery and general comportment in the presence of trans and non-binary persons. The project moved towards a fuller understanding of the lived experience; daily challenges faced, prejudice and direct transphobia – under-reported in mainstream media. The manner in which transition affects people both physically, societally and psychologically has helped expand Hutchinson’s understanding of the subject matter and therefore the manner in which she is able to frame the subjects, specifically allowing subjects to dictate how they were represented, within their own space. Dissemination: Hutchinson’s project was published via Dazed & Confused magazine’s online platform and their social media accounts in June 2019. The Instagram account has 1.4 million followers.

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