These last several months of pandemic isolation have prompted plenty of self-reflection about my identity and particularly my femininity. I’ve grappled with decisions around altering my body, choosing between allowing myself to age naturally or to make feminizing changes as I see fit. These self-portraits mark a stage in that process. As I worked through feelings about the “natural” state of my body, I photographed myself as a feminine figure in the American landscape. These vulnerable moments in nature allowed me to explore my body in a way I never have before, learning to view my current state as an effeminate form, without the help of feminine clothing. As I placed my body among naturally occurring forms, and asked how I’d like to be seen, the gender metaphors we impose upon the landscape led to the inevitable question: What does it mean to be perceived as feminine or masculine? I’ve come to understand my body as a vessel for fluid gender expression: malleable, unbounded by prescribed male or female expectations.
This work was made possible by the Milwaukee Foundation's Mary L. Nohl Fellowship