Powerful Photos Show Trans Individuals As They Want To Be Seen

This story was originally published on January 14, 2015.
Though gender and genitalia are distinct — it's said that gender is between your ears, while genitalia is between your legs — some trans individuals choose reassignment surgery to align their physical appearances with their self-identified genders. It's not about "qualifying" to be a certain gender; rather, the process is a physical realization of how these men and women see themselves and wish to be seen. In her photo project "Reassign," photographer Claudia González visually captures the journeys of trans men and women in Cuba. "'Reassign' is a visual game with the spectator, an aesthetic project in its form, but with a clear documentary [aspect]," González writes. "The project title refers to the designation applied to persons that have changed sex surgically — reassigned." The series shines a spotlight on individuals whose external appearances didn't, at first, reflect their identities — and it shows them coming into their own. "[The project] is concerned with respect and dignity for every human being," González says. "It’s an opportunity for the spectators to stop and ask themselves about their own knowledge, feelings, and opinions on transsexualism." Click through to view 11 of the powerful diptychs; each pair of photos was taken on the same day. These images are testaments to the subjects' agency — their ability to determine for themselves how they move through the world.

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