Mariette Pathy Allen

The Gender Frontier

1. Jamison at Fantasia Fair

2. Cheryl Chase, intersex activist, Santa Rosa, CA

3. Young couple at a GenderPAC gathering, DC

4. Max and Cori, a reversed couple

5. Inkera with her aunt’s children, Schenectody

6. Virginia Prince, pioneer

7. Dee and Donna,learning line dancing, Baltimore

8. Brandon Theena should have been here, Gay Pride Parade, NYC

9. Sylvia Rivera, homeless, with Marlboro Man

10. Cas, with daughter-in-law and her baby near Atlanta, GA


Starting in the early ’90s, my work focused on female-to-male as well as male-to-female people who live full time in the gender in which they identify. I photographed the evolution of political activism, young gender variant people, and made portraits of individuals as their life circumstances changed. “The Gender Frontier”, published in 2003, represents an amazing decade in the struggle against discrimination.

Today in English class, we had to write an updated version of Sonnet 116 (Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments) by William Shakespeare.

This is what I wrote:

Don’t let me be rude about OTPs.

According to Tumblr, ships are not ships

Which suddenly sink upon stormy seas

Or fizzle out when Moffat writes the script.


O, no! They are all Starkspangled Banners

That brave season finales and don’t die.

They are the John to every wandering Lock

To canon unknown, though fanfic never lies.


Ships are not Time’s fools, though wistful looks and feels

Within the shipping radar come:

Ships alter not with plots’ sharp twists and turns,

But sail it out unto the edge of doom.


If I am wrong, then don’t kill me just yet:

You are wrong if you don’t ship Mariette.