I am thrilled to be involved in his journey, and I am greatly humbled that he trusts me enough to let me be a part of what is bound to be a very intense and personal experience. I remember the intensity and excitement of my own chest surgery, though now that I am 6 years post-op, I almost can't remember what it felt like to inhabit a body that didn't feel like mine. Though it took me years to get used to my chest, now it feels like it has always been this way, flat and masculine.
I have also received permission to photograph his surgeon, which I am greatly looking forward to. Part of my goal with this project is to include providers who work with our community, and this will be the first portrait I make of a surgeon.
I could never fully articulate how grateful I am that people continue to allow me into their lives to make photographs, nor could I ever express how profoundly my connections with other queer and trans folks affect me. I am very much looking forward to this trip, as it will be the first time I have spent a full week experiencing and documenting someone else's experience with chest surgery. I've got bags full of cameras and film, a few clothes, my journal, and my copy of "Butch is a Noun" by S. Bear Bergman, which seems like appropriate reading for such a journey.
Below are the two photographs I took of Alex in 2007. I can only imagine how thrilled he must be that after next week, he will never have to wear that binder again. Alex also has a website about his transition for those who are interested.
|Alex's Binder, 2007|