Photographer Rhys Harper has started The Transcending Gender Project, a photo collection that aims to celebrate transgender and gender non-conforming individuals as people, not just by their gender, by bringing visibility to their lives. The first exhibition is slated to take place on Nov. 8, 2014 at ArtRage Gallery in Syracuse, NY, and a book is in the works.
Harper wants to use the Project to achieve unity within the trans community by capturing each person in a way that is authentic to who they are – "no politics, no opinions." He hopes to offer a more holistic portrayal of trans-identified and gender non-conforming humans as just people and what is in their hearts as opposed to what is in their pants, as the media generally emphasizes. Harper says:
We are everywhere –- we are doctors, attorneys, students, musicians, bankers, parents, brokers, teachers… we are free spirits, creative souls, world travelers, animal rescuers, performers, lovers, fighters, hopers, dreamers, movers and shakers. We, too, exist, and what we have to offer the world transcends the boundaries of gender.
The Project is currently seeking trans and gender non-conforming individuals to take part in the photo series, with the only qualification being self-identification as transgender or gender-nonconforming. To find out how you can get involved, visit the Project's site, their Facebook, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read HuffPost Gay Voices' full interview with Rhys Harper, click here.