Stealing Masculinity — Artist Statement

Most animals, like humans, have separate sexes — they are born, live out their lives and reproduce as one sex or the other. However, some animals live as one sex in part of their lifetime and then switch to the other sex… What remains a puzzle, according to Yale scientists, is why the phenomenon is so rare, since their analysis shows the biological “costs” of changing sexes rarely outweigh the advantages.

When my friend asked me to photograph his transition I was honored and excited. We started on the first day that he started hormone shots. I took photographs every two months for five years.  Every full turn that you see here in this series represents a year’s passage of time.

Why stealing masculinity?

Because there’s no peace arch at these borderlines. Gender is patrolled viciously both by the powers that be and by smalltime hoodlums, taking potshots (or worse) at anyone refusing to conform; the space in between is fenced with razorwire — crossing in the open is a dangerous position for this man to put himself in; to be caught as it were in enemy territory.

He doesn’t wish to erase his past. I thank him for that and his willingness to share it publicly; very fucking brave.

This is not about a spectacle, it’s about a person, an intimate portrait of a man during an important passage in his life, a passage that’s not recognized, honoured or ritualized in our society.

SD  Holman


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *