last call (for now) for the trans portrait gallery!
my name is eli, and for the past six months i’ve been working on a project called the “trans portrait gallery.” essentially, i am drawing portraits of a wide range of trans people and compiling their stories to display in an online and easily accessible gallery.
i love art and i wanted to blend my love of it with activism, so the project aims to create a sense of empathy and humanization for the trans experience through visual stimuli, and to provide a visual contrast to the fact that trans people, most often trans women, are portrayed as a caricature or the butt of a joke. i also want to show that we come from every background and situation– country, age, race, socioeconomic class, religion, sexual orientation, ability, etc.– and explore how these factors interact with our lives and our gender identities.
the response to this project so far has been amazing, and i’ve felt so honored to draw everyone’s portraits and be privy to their stories. i’m hoping to have the first iteration of the website up in the next few weeks! however, i’d still like to have more portraits, and in an effort to streamline the process, i’m sending out one last call:
if you’re transgender or nonbinary and willing to have your portrait drawn and posted on the trans portrait gallery, along with excerpts from answers to a few interview questions, i am going to be using the tag #transportraitgallery to draw the last round of portraits!
here’s how you can go about this:
1. take a straight-on photo of your face
2. answer the following questions. you can be as concise or as longform as you want!
- How has being transgender/nonbinary interacted with or impacted other facets of your identity (e.g. race, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, etc.)?
- What have some of your negative experiences related to being transgender/nonbinary been?
- What have some of your positive experiences related to being transgender/nonbinary been?
- If you could tell every cisgender person in the world one thing about trans people/the trans experience, what would it be? (You can have more than one answer.)
- If you could have a phone conversation with your younger self (whatever age(s) you’d like), what would you say to them?
- What has your experience with your family been like?
- What else about being transgender/nonbinary would you like to write about?
3. post your photo and responses to the tag “#transportraitgallery” on tumblr! if you feel uncomfortable sharing your photo/responses on your blog, you can also submit your photo/responses to me at genderists.tumblr.com/submit
if i decide to draw your portrait, i will reach out to you to double-check that you’re all right with it. additionally, if you have any questions, feel free to send me a message.
thank you so much for working with me throughout all of this! it would be excellent if people, cis or trans alike, could reblog this to get the word out.