Friday, January 4, 2008

Frequently Asked Questions

...or everything you wanted to know about Gender DiverCity but were afraid to ask.

"Gender DiverCity" Photography Project: Seeking Participants

I have often been told I'm not man enough, too butch, too effeminate, or that "real men do ____" (fill in the blank) Sometimes it is said in jest, sometimes people truly feel such things about gender. Since I often explore my thoughts and feelings about life in my art, I thought this would be a great topic for my first photo project. But as I began taking pictures of men and their words about how they felt about gender, I discovered women, genderqueer people, and a slew of variously identified people who wanted to participate. So why discriminate!?! Their diversity has inspired me.

If you're interested, or have questions that are not answered below, drop me a line at with Gender DiverCity in the subject.

What is this you are doing?
I am photographing people and their words. More specifically, I ask people to write about their feelings around gender and their own gender identity or presentation on a piece of plastic, and then I photograph them with it.

Why are you doing this?
Gender DiverCity is a photo project through which I am attempting to show the diversity of gender presentation and identity among humans, and their own words about that gender presentation or identity. I have noticed that sometimes people see us through our words, sometimes people see us despite our words, sometimes our words are ignored, and sometimes our words change how others perceive us. For this reason, I ask participants to write some of their own words down on plastic which is included in the photo shoot.

Who can participate?
To infinity, and beyond! Human beings of all shapes, sizes, orientations, and gender presentations or identities, are asked to participate. From gender-normative, heterosexual truckers to flamboyant drag nuns and everything in between and beyond, all are welcome here. Whether you have written a book on gender, or never given it a day of thought in your life, I will gladly photograph you.

What will this be used for?
I will use the images towards a variety of projects. Currently I am putting them together in portfolio format to bring to a gender diversity conference where I hope to find more participants. Images may appear in galleries, on my art website in the future, on the Gender DiverCity blog, as well as in a calendar or book form. Participants will have to sign a photo release form, to be emailed once you contact me.

What will I get in return?
Why, the pleasure of being photographed of course! Beyond that, I will send you an emailed JPEG version of the image or images within a year of the time I photograph you. If you wish to also have a personal portrait which is not related to this project done, please let me know. In total, I will send you up to 5 JPEG images of yourself in exchange for your participation.

I'd like to participate, but I'm nervous about having my name/face used. How can you protect my identity?
Names/initials and other identifying information will not be used in association with the images, unless given permission by the participant. As you can see in some of the examples on my Gender DiverCity Blog, It is not necessary to use your name, or even your face in the photographs. You may choose how much exposure you would like, and which name you prefer to have associated with your pictures if any. For some photographs I have used only a first name, for others no name.

May I pose nude?
Possibly. Artistic nudes may be a part of this project, but do not make up the bulk of the photographs. This is something we would need to discuss in person.

Do you know you spelled "Diversity" wrong?

Yes I am aware that "Gender DiverCity" is perceived as a misspelling, as spell-check insisted on informing me. This was intentional. I feel these photos show us a glimpse into the great human community. Through my lens, a "city" of human beings in all their various colors, shapes, and sizes, is quickly developing.

Where can I see other examples of your photography?

I submit some of my work to and you can see it at

Is any of your art for sale?
If you would like to purchase a print or other work from me, please contact me via email at

Where can I see previous photos from the Gender DiverCity photo project?
At this time you may see some of this project on the Gender DiverCity blog at

I'd like to participate, what next?
Send me an email at with the subject line "Gender DiverCity" You can email me a little bit about yourself if you like. Come up with a list of some of your thoughts and feelings about gender for yourself, as it will come in handy at the time of the photo shoot.

Where do we meet, where can I be photographed, and when?
(Currently in Arizona, and California only)
As this is highly individual, we will discuss this via email. If you're nervous about meeting someone you have never met in person before, bring a friend (I most likely will do this myself, as I'm disAbled, and do not drive.) If you have a preferance for location, please let me know and we will discuss our options via email.

What should I wear?
Whatever you like. I only ask that you choose clothes you feel comfortable in, be they work attire, dress up, or your every day attire. Solid, light colors do help the words show up more, but there are ways around this if you simply must wear the fabulous black shirt covered in pink elephants.

What will you use to photograph?
I usually do not have access to any fancy lighting equipment, although occasionally a friend will give me access to their studio. Most often, just daylight and my Nikon D40X we fondly call "Big Bertha" Ocassionally I do use a medium format camera called a Holga. I will be photographing using digital SLR, or medium format film, and may also use a point and shoot digital camera at times. If it takes pictures and I can get my hands on it, I may use it. That said, Big Bertha is my primary camera, and will most often be used.

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