Thursday, November 06, 2008

6th November

Today I did a photoshoot.
A dear friend of mine who is an excellent photographer wants to make a photographic essay about transition.
I said i would help.
So I put on a shirt and tie and a man's flat cap and stood in our flats' garage looking miserable for him.
And then changed into my own lovely clothes and sat up in my lovely upstairs writing room and went through the moods he was looking for.
I have always been afraid of cameras. When I was a boy I was terrified of looking in the mirror because the boy I saw reflected there was not me, somehow, and I could not understand why.
It terrified me. And I could not understand..
Mirrors were bad, and cameras were worse, because they captured that confusion and that fear and that awkwardness and shame for everyone to see.
And I desperately wanted to hide it all, because I was sure this was all a sign of something most terribly wrong in me.
But one of the things that most amazes me about this whole process of transition is how much i feel at ease in myself now: and all kinds of things that felt impossible for me then now seem more than possible.
And I have started to love being photographed.
Suddenly the camera seems to have become my friend.
And I found it incredibly exciting..
Even the very sad parts. he wanted tears; and, to my amazement, I found I could enter a sad place, cry genuine tears, and then come out again.
Extraordinary.
I write this filled with a sense of wonder, as if something quite miraculous has happened.
Partly because he is a very safe person, and I could trust him absolutely: but partly also, I think, because I can trust myself.

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Comments:
I also have had a life long dislike of seeing myself in photographs or mirrors, sharing the sense of cofusion and saddness that the person I am inside was not reflected back, and the anxiety that perhaps too much of my innate femininity was leaking out.

Rose from Glasgow
 
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