Like many other countries worldwide, there is a stereotype in Peru that trans women are only capable of working as hairdressers or sex workers. But, because of high competition for salon work and the need to pay for studies, many trans women are relegated to prostitution. Here Camila, left, gets out of a taxi after a long night of dancing. //// Latin America leads the world in homicides of transgender people due to toxic societal forces that stigmatize them--most don't live past 35. My ongoing project documents life-threatening challenges facing trans women in this region. Though IÕm an outsider to the issues trans women face, through my years of documenting this community, I have built strong relationships centered on trust between myself and the women I have photographed. My long-term commitment to this community has allowed me to intimately document often difficult issues, such as violence, substance abuse, family and friendship dynamics, health struggles, and the loss of a loved one. Because of my perspective as an outsider, I am especially sensitive to how my pictures portray this community. As a way to combat tropes in traditional media that show trans women as hyper-sexualized, deconstructed objects only capable of prostitution, I have focused on their personal lives with friends, family, and partners rather than their lives on the streets. When photographing the streets, I strive to convey the tight-knit connections between them, the abuse by law enforcement, the discomforts of prostitution, or the quiet, quirky moments that are hidden from mainstream media. When outsiders fail to show the larger picture, and only focus on what is sensational, we are narrowly constructing people and society will fail to understand the important nuances of a situation that they might be quick to judge.

Reclaiming Photography

Featuring: Laura Beltrán Villamizar, Shahidul Alam, Austin Merrill, Daniella Zalcman, Tara Pixley, Brent Lewis

SATURDAY, Sept 16 | 12PM – 1PM

A panel discussion from the founding members of RECLAIM: an alliance of The Everyday Projects, Native Agency, Majority World, Women Photograph, and Diversify Photo. Re...

LIVE at Photoville, powered by PechaKucha

Featuring: Luján Agusti, Lia Clay, Ron Haviv, Stephanie Keith, Brent Lewis, Joshua Rashad McFadden, Matt Slaby, and Alice Wielinga

SUNDAY, Sept 17 | 4:30PM – 6PM

Producers and co-founders Marcel Saba, Amy Wolff and Mathieu Young are pleased to bring you LIVE at Photoville, powered by PechaKucha. Join us for a fast-paced presenta...