COMMUNITY VOICES | Visible Bodies Minneapolis

Laverne Cox was a trailblazer in the trans community for her role as “Sophia” in the hit Netflix original series Orange Is The New Black. Since this, the transgender community has been more recognized in their plea for more trans* representation in the mainstream media and to have that representation be done by real transgender individuals.

One of the ways that this is occurring is with the new artistic photography project Visible Bodies: Transgender Narratives Retold. Visible Bodies is a grassroots organization whose goal is to “to empower trans people and educate cisgender people.” by using photographs of transgender individuals to display the gender variances.

Along with these photos each photographed individual provides a written narrative expressing the photograph and telling their personal stories, some related to their gender identity, others related to other intersecting identities.

Visible Bodies began in San Diego in 2012 with its Opening Show in May of 2013. This year, Visible Bodies has moved to Minneapolis for it’s second installment of transgender individuals to share their stories.

“There are trans people in places that we probably don’t even know to look” says Visibile Bodie’s Organizer Garret Hoffman.

The Twin Cities has the second highest transgender population in the nation followed by San Francisco.

Visible Bodies spent the past few months searching for potential models and is currently beginning the creative process. Models are meeting with photographers to decide how the models would like their stories to be portrayed.

Hoffman says that this project will be hopefully done by June “The goal is to have everything printed and framed by Pride.” and the group is working on getting venues to show the gallery of finished work.

The upcoming goals involve establishing Visible Bodies in Portland Oregon and other cities throughout the United States and to eventually look into the possibility to create a traveling show.

Visible Bodies has an open organizing committee. There is a calendar on their website for meetings where all are welcome to attend.

There is room for a lot of community involvement. from framing, busywork, scouting for galleries, and getting the word out.

Those that cannot commit time to contributing to the organization can donate to move the project forward. “We’re still researching on how much it’s going to cost… we’re funded by donations only.”

All donations to Visible Bodies are tax deductible. You can donate by going to their website http://visiblebodies.org/.