Portraits of Older Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People Who Led the Way

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While the transgender/gender fluid community continues to become more welcome in American society with every passing year, for the most part, its younger members tend to be most visible within the mainstream. Youth is inappropriately valued in our culture, but you can be certain that a growing number of older trans and gender non-conforming people are out their living their best lives.

Photographer Jess T. Dugan and social worker Vanessa Fabbre spent more than five years traveling the nation to photograph and record the life stories of this hidden demographic, finding subjects in both big cities and small towns. The duo's work is compiled in a new book and exhibition, both titled To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults.

On Thursday, September 13, the exhibit opens and the book is officially released at a dual reception from 5 to 8 p.m. at Projects + Gallery (4733 McPherson Avenue; www.projects-gallery.com). A dozen large-scale photos of participants are on display, along with ten 18-by-24-inch portraits; all of them include a written narrative about the subject's life. During the reception the artists will sign copies of the book. An artist talk with Dugan and Fabbre takes place from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, September 15, and PROMO and the Metro Trans Umbrella Group host a storytelling session from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, September 21. The exhibit continues through October 10.

- Paul Friswold