a photo of a newborn baby

A Family in Transition

26 Jul 2019 EMERGI-CUBES
Two young men and a baby in the living room

Featuring: Jackie Molloy

Presented by:

United Photo Industries EMERGI-CUBE Program


Curated by:
James Estrin and David Gonzalez, Co-Editors of the New York Times Lens Blog


A Family in Transition is a photographic essay documenting the lives of Tanner, a transgender male, and his partner David, as they grapple with Tanner’s unexpected pregnancy, the birth of their daughter Paetyn, and their life together as new parents.

Tanner knew that he was transgender a little over five years ago. He did a one-year social transition by changing the pronouns he used for himself, and soon after, he began taking testosterone. During this time he performed drag, which is when he met David, a gay man, and they started dating. After a few missed testosterone shots, Tanner became pregnant.

As a person who was in the middle of gender transition, Tanner’s changing body was subjected to new challenges while his pregnancy progressed. He struggled with body dysphoria as he tried to reconcile with his biological gender identity. “My mind is almost saying you have to write with your left hand even though you’re right-handed,” he said.

Today, Tanner and David see themselves the way many couples raising a family would–complete with love, care, and tension. This work aims to show the humanity and strength of their family, and go deep beyond the physical transition, showing a new American family.

Make sure to also check out related EMERGI-CUBES Walking Tour with James Estrin.


Jackie Molloy is an award winning, internationally published visual journalist, based in New York City. Her work explores modern families overcoming adversities from all over the spectrum, with topics ranging from transgender rights, fertility issues, foster care, and disability. Her photographs explore how these differences can mold and shape the dynamic of each family she meets.

Jackie just concluded a three year Visual Storytelling and Documentary Photography mentorship under Ed Kashi and James Estrin through the Anderson Ranch Arts Center. In 2016 she won a Yunghi Kim grant for her body of work, A Family in Transition and was selected to participate in The New York Times Portfolio review in 2016 and 2019. She is a member of Women Photograph and was a 2018 Women Photograph mentee under Chelsea Matiash and Paula Bronstein.

Her clients include AARP, Elle Magazine, ESPN’s The Undefeated, Duży Format, Metro UK, Narratively, Newsday, Smithsonian Magazine, The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, The Pew Research Center’s Trust Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

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