Exploring Gender Ambiguity with Trent

This is Trent. Well, on a regular day, this is Courtney, one of my dearest friends and artistic co-conspirators. Every so often, when I'm lucky, we get to work together exploring some vision one of us had. This project was spawned from a conversation on one of Courtney's Instagram photos where she was looking particular beautysome and androgynous.

androgynous : having characteristics or nature of both male and female.

From this brief back-and-forth was birthed a fun idea to explore gender identity in a small photo series. More telling than the photos themselves, however, was our experience capturing them. I didn't expect to encounter some serious questions about societal gender norms while doing it.

We stumbled right out of the gate. Our workflow together, normally easy and fluid, was awkward. We stopped for a moment to review some of the initial images and started to notice all manner of small details that we weren't consciously aware of most of the time. Arched backs and popped hips were the comfortable and natural posture. Curvy, soft lines are what we grew up learning to create with our bodies and to discard that nature was quite difficult.

Once mastering the sloped back, clenched jaw, and wide stance traditionally attributed to masculinity we found a rhythm and Trent walked a fine line between soft and hard.

In the end, this was a simple artistic exploration, and I won't delve too deeply into gender issues. Today, gender identity is more flexible than ever; Courtney is handsome, Trent is beautiful, and I certainly won't be telling anyone to "sit like a lady."

Jaeda ReedComment