Transformation

An intimate look at the daily life of two transgender sex workers living in Paris by director and photographer, Denisha Anderson

Words by Denisha Anderson

Feminine (n): having qualities or an appearance traditionally associated with women - especially delicacy and prettiness.

Synonyms: womanly, woman-like, ladylike.

Masculine (n): having characters that are traditionally thought to be typical of or suitable for men. A masculine appearance or voice.

Transformation is my first experience hanging out with anyone of Transgender sex so this snippet/peep into the personal lives of these individuals was not only insightful but humbling. My expectations weren't high, low or even extreme. I was open to everything and nothing considering I was going in blind. My references were stories/anecdotes about a character which I thought I would never have the opportunity to meet and 4 months later, after being proposed the "idea" of meeting Bea; it happened and what a delight it was.

The quaint juxtaposition of being born a man (by default) but still a proud feminine woman in manner and mind, who unfortunately has to use sex to get by...

“Life is complicated”, exclaims Bea.

Despite these strikes, her smile is wide, her figure an hourglass, her hair is perfectly cut, highlighted & blow dried. Bea walked with grace, who dressed in classic attire even regal in some aspects, high neck lined dresses, floral prints and red boots - naughty.

She disclosed personal accounts of her life

growing up:
“I have nothing, I learned things the hard way, in ways people couldn’t imagine”.

her relationships with family:
“I forgive my mum for not accepting me. Love is loving your child for who they are and who they want to be”.

“My mother is against my love, I don’t deserve love because of who I am”.

loves lost and found:
“He refuses to be honest with himself, one day he will miss this and I will prepare myself when he chooses to receive it”.

“I miss him I can’t love another person”.

“We don’t choose who we are. This is me, this is my identity. I am gay, I am transexual”.

“I am an incredible girl!”

With what I learned and witnessed, I want these pictures to express some of what I experienced capturing not a man or woman, but a person. A person with thoughts, feelings, challenges and dreams.

Was she a different person to whom I heard about? Yes! The person I heard and read about was wilder and younger, a little rough around the edges... which is what I saw in her lovely flat mate, Eva. She was sweet, cutesy and loved a hair flick. She enjoyed short, tight and colourful clothes, living up to the ideals of “feminine”, whereas Bea, 10 years her senior was wiser, but open in a different way. She was open about her life; she wasn’t interested in posing. Bea had a new outlook on life that was positive, an air of development and progression was evident, along with her past she shared her future dreams of singing and traveling. In contrast to Eva who expressed her figure and feminine ways through smiles and constant eye contact with the camera.

Personally I went on a little transformation myself and I want my audience to have a similar journey. Closing the doors to what is negatively portrayed in public and opening the mind to what is REAL, celebrating difference, applauding bravery and hopefully inspire others to be true to themselves. I walked away with a better understanding not only of the transgender sex but of myself and defining my own femininity.

As a publisher and Community Interest Company, TRIP is dedicated to showcasing unconventional stories that may otherwise be overlooked. We aim to give a platform to the unseen and a microphone to the ignored. Expression is a right and should not be confined to those that can afford to work for free; which is why we strive to support a diverse range of creatives in their work, commissioning exciting projects and creatives to visualize them.
 

Founded as a magazine in 2013 by photographer, Dean Davies, TRIP was born from a desire to provide opportunity and exposure for image-makers across multiple platforms and medias. With a focus on people and place, in 5 years TRIP gained a loyal readership, and became known for its honest image output and representation of the underrepresented, featuring over 800 image-makers from across the world through a website, 5 magazines and 3 free zines.
 

As TRIP C.I.C. we are not interested in profiting from the activities of the organization, and re-invest all income back in to consecutive publishing projects.
 

Directors:
Dean Davies
Alfie Allen
 

For all enquiries: trip@trippublishing.co.uk.