Mariette Pathy Allen's TransCuba is as much an intimate peek into the everyday lives of Cuba's trans female population as it is a visual record of the country's growing oppenness to diversity under Raúl Castro's presidency.
Featuring vibrant, full-page photos of transgender women in their daily environments — from their homes, to neighborhood streets, to social outings with friends and partners — the collection's interspersion of posed and candid photos are a far cry from the media's sensationalistic portrayals of trans lives. Rather, the women are engaged in quiet, banal moments, or else are looking resolutely at the viewer, demanding to be seen on their own terms and turf.
Allen, a cisgender (non-trans) artist, has spent the last 30 years photographing members of transgender and gender-variant communities, often focusing on "daily life, in positive settings and relationships." She released Transformations, a collection devoted to male-to-female crossdressers, in 1989, and the award-winning The Gender Frontier in 2004. Her latest book, TransCuba, is now available through Daylight Books and Amazon.
Click through the photos below to see Allen's work.