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PHOTOS: Gender Authenticity and Showgirls

PHOTOS: Gender Authenticity and Showgirls

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Hannah Tara Faye sees her work as empowering the performers she photographs, as well as a coming-out statement for herself.

Hannah Tara Faye went to a conservative school in Cambodia, where expressing her bisexuality and her interest in photographing transgender nightclub performers was unthinkable. She found release, at age 17, when she became a volunteer for a group that reached out to the trans sex workers in the red light district. Volunteers sought alternative job opportunities for these women (if they wanted it), and aimed to build relationships with them. From there she was able to visit some of Cambodia's gay clubs, including Classic Night and 2 Colors, where she photographed the "Lady Boy" shows, both backstage and up front.

"I was bewildered by the intense emotions and powerful women who took pride in preforming each night," says Faye. "I knew I could not fully experience all of these emotions because their backgrounds of extreme rejection and identity transformation. The aim of this work is to show the pain and beauty of being transgender."

Her work has recently been displayed in both Cambodia and India. The photos below are from three of her series: "Grey Scale", "Transparency", and "Dysphoria."

Connect with Hannah Tara Faye on Facebook.

Below: "Grey Scale"

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"Transparency"

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"Dysphoria"

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