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This photographic project will document transgender sexworkers who work presenting as the gender they were assigned at birth and no longer identify with. I will be applying to exhibit the series at different events in Australia, mostly at queer and sexworker arts events and also online. Since the photos will be released publicly, contributors will have to be comfortable with disclosure to some extent. However, I will not use your legal name and I’m open to negotiating measures to protect your identity if you would like to contribute but have privacy concerns.
To participate, you will have to consider the implications of the associations of your image and the content.
I am a transgender hustler who works as a lady babe. Primarily, this pays the bills. It also has been both affirming and dysphoria exacerbating, a result of limited financially viable representation options, the safest option, performative and an opportunity to max out lessons in the behavioral codes of feminine wiles. It’s creating a stronger affiliation with femmes and my class background. I feel moments of concern for my safety if a client recognises my face on the street and feels betrayed, and moments of satisfying queer subversion when being told, “You’re the hottest chick I’ve ever seen”, accompanied with a wad of cash.
I’m interested in documenting the process of embodying the rentboy/stripper minx/mistress/etc within, the transformation, the relationship that incurs with our bodies, the culture of trans people sexworking to pay for their medical transition, the connections between transgender identity and class, sexwork and class. I am really happy to have any discussions about representation.
· Email self portrait photographs (taken by you, either by holding the camera or with a self timer) taken while you’re in your ho persona, preferably at work but about to head to work is fine too. Around 5 photos would be great.
· Do not change the resolution settings on the photos
· Working photographs taken in the past are fine if you are not currently working
· Give me the following info in the body of the email:
your working name (this can be the one you use or one made up for the project),
your contact info
the text “I consent to the use and publication by Warren Gracie of the attached photographs of me”. Include any conditions you have (eg. No online publishing)
A short blurb on who you are/your experiences or thoughts on working as the gender you were assigned at birth/why you wanted to participate (this part is optional)
· The deadline is May 30 2009.
This project is inclusive of pre, post and non medical transition transgender people, including but not limited to female-to-male, male-to-female and genderqueer transgender people. If you identify as trans, you are welcome to participate.
The term ‘sex-worker’ is an umbrella term, including but not limited to dance, full-service, porn, domination, submission, fetish, gf/bf experience and peepshow workers.
Feel free to contact me with any questions.