“Transportraits” Series Shows The LGBT Community From A Different Angle

02_LTriburgo_Valley_Waterfall_Erin.jpg.CROP.original-originalTrans photographer Lorenzo Triburgo says his “Transportraits” series was a labor of love that took over four years to create. His 30 portraits of trans men aim to show “constructions of masculinity” in the trans community, and were shot at an upward-facing angle to portray a sense of heroism.

Triburgo says the project was especially important because it marked the beginning of his own transition, and his subjects were a great resource that provided a wealth of information. While constructing the project, he met a wide range of men in different stages of transition—a diverse group of people, some of which started transitioning in their mid-50s, and others in their teens.

“Photography is seen as this medium that represents truth, that relays or records a happening or an instance. I think now we can mostly agree that’s a misperception. Things can be altered or the subjectivity of the person taking the photo can dictate how it’s created,” he says. “The same thing goes toward gender. Someone is assigned a gender at birth, when I don’t think there’s any truth behind that. I think gender is something that can grow and change and is more subjective than it’s seen at large.”

The “Transportraits” series is now on display at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center’s Contemporary Photography Competition through August 24, and will move to Boston University’s Photo Resource Center on September 3.

Check out some of the portraits below:

06_LTriburgo_Autumn_Images_Maxxwell.jpg.CROP.original-original 05_LTriburgo_An_Arctic_Winter_Day_Jose.jpg.CROP.original-original LTriburgo_Two_Seasons_Andrew.jpg.CROP.original-original 07_LTriburgo_Winter_Woods_Dani.jpg.CROP.original-original 01_LTriburgo_A_Pretty_Autumn_Day_Rej.jpg.CROP.original-original

[h/t Slate]

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  • Deepdow

    I love the colors in these portraits. Transmen can be very handsome :)

  • yaoming

    I think it’s funny how F2M go for the lowest-common-denominator male stereotypes: ugly eyeglasses, plaid shirts, scruffy beards, etc. I guess that’s one way of “blending in”.
    Now that they’ve transitioned, are they straight? If so, how is this gay news?

  • boring

    Oh hey, it’s John Hodgman.

  • Will L

    They are handsome, aren’t they? These are well done.

  • Jim Hlavac

    With all due respect to everyone involved, for the life of me I still can’t figure out how four very different groups of people: Lesbians, Gay Guys, Bisexuals and Transgendered people — got into “one community.” Frankly, I can conceive of few connections to the people in the article, and then mostly as fellow citizens. .

  • SFHarry

    @yaoming: Without even commenting on the content of your comment I just want to let you know you are a particularly whiny person.

  • SFHarry

    @Jim Hlavac: I don’t know you or your background but I am guessing you are a gay male(I am too). For you and other gay men who don’t see a connection you may want to consider that what is considered the start of our fight for civil rights was begun by some of the members of the diverse group of people with whom you find no commonality. It was before my time but drag queens rose up at Stonewall. Also, in the 90’s I worked with AIDS activist groups and very important in the running of these groups I worked with were dedicated Lesbians, who were rarely affected directly by the disease. I think these two examples alone show how our different communities are historical tied together and we should be celebrating them rather than questioning their ties to us.

  • zrocqs

    @yaoming: We’ve been down this path before, Yaoming. This site is “Queerty”, not “Gayty”. And no, “queer” and “gay” are not synonymous. “Queer” is more inclusive. Deal with it.

    People who wear glasses, sport a beard, or wear plaid are not low or common. (I’m guilty of all three.) What’s low is that you claim to understand the motivations of seven men based on their portraits, and what’s common is that you have again dismissed anyone who doesn’t qualify for your limited definition of “Queer”.

    @Jim Hlavac: If you haven’t already found the exclusive “one community” you desire, please do so soon. I’m sure there are a lot of Lesbians, Gay Guys, Bisexuals and Transgendered people who will appreciate your absence.

  • Thedrdonna

    @yaoming: Speaking as a trans woman, maybe they don’t want to die. For a lot of trans folk, passing can be the difference between a good day and a dangerous, abusive, and possibly deadly day. I know I have often felt I like I had to present more femme than I prefer, in order to avoid that. It’s possible some day that won’t be necessary, but we as a society aren’t there yet.

  • Dr. Dick

    @Jim Hlavac: “With all due respect, let me say something crass and insensitive….” LOL I’m sorry, I just can’t figure out for the life of me how some people (cisgender gay men especially) cannot see the link between several historically marginalized, gender-stereotype non-conforming groups of people. It’s like saying apples, bananas, grapes and strawberries can’t all be called fruit.


  • yaoming

    @zrocqs: “Queerty” is obviously a pun on “QWERTY” – which is the name for a common, non-alphabetic keyboard configuration. It’s a good name for a blog, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a “queer” blog and everything that means to you… especially when that blog is self-styled as promoting an explicitly “gay agenda”.

  • zrocqs

    @yaoming: Thank you for sharing your astute understanding of puns, and for the fine definition of QWERTY. You’ve obviously mastered the the intricacies of the Google.

    “Queerty” is a fine name for this website, and the inclusion of articles concerning Trans people, Lesbians, Intersexed people, Bisexuals, Allies, and others belies your assertion that this is a site only for people who fit your narrow definition of Gay. You’re not content to pass over articles concerning people you feel are irrelevant, but you insist on trying to convince the rest of us that our interest is wrong. Odd.

  • Thedrdonna

    @yaoming: I have to say, I find it pretty funny that in one breath you discount “Queerty” because, oh, it’s based on a common phrase or saying and thus has no literal meaning! Then, suddenly, once it gets to the gay agenda part, there’s a deeper meaning there. That’s basically a binding legal contract, because “the gay agenda” isn’t a common phrase in the dialogue of LGBT rights at all! You’re a real champ.


    brave, courageous, handsome in all aspects. I wish them all a great future.Thanks to the photographer for such a wonderful exhibit into a formerly closed world.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    What is it about human nature that constantly wants to exclude, “The Other.” We’ve evolved, hopefully. Gays have been marginalized for so long by heterosexual prohibition. It’s unacceptable for queers to exclude anyone from this LGBT community.

  • vklortho

    @yaoming: Trans men can be gay just like a cis man. I’ve known at least a few gay trans men.

  • jr111585

    Beautiful! ????

  • jr111585

    Idk why my comment showed up with question marks when I typed exclamation points… Wtf?

    ANYWAYYY, my comment should have read: BEAUTIFUL(exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point…)

    It was a statement, not a question. The shots really are beautiful all-around in my own humble opinion.

  • jr111585

    @yaoming: so you recognize that the “blog is self-styled as promoting an explicitly ‘gay agenda,'” but then you say that “It’s a good name for a blog, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a ‘queer’ blog…”

    Wtf? ?? 2 + 2 = 1

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