THE BEAUTY AND ESSENCE OF BLACK TRANS WOMEN
June 26, 2019
PHOTOS BY JAI PUGH
I’ve had this idea to capture trans black women for about two years. Reading the stories of my slain sisters took an emotional toll on me and I wanted to show the world, the beauty and raw essence trans black women personified.
The slight nod to showgirl, as seen in the headpieces was inspired by Josephine Baker. She was a trailblazer and experienced hardships for living her truth. My decision to use her as the visual guide anchored the decision in who I wanted to capture. Each participant that sat for the portrait series are trailblazers in their given fields by breaking down the norms and advocating a change.
I worked with such incredible talented people on this series. Everyone was a part of the journey and felt the emotion on set. I literally cried during the first sitting. The black and white images aim to highlight each woman in a raw, vulnerable, beautiful and honest way. Thank you for honoring us all.