Project Ava Presents: Unheard – Behind the Lens of a Trans Photographer

June is Pride Month and for this episode we’re joined by Jax, a transgender photographer based in NYC. Jax shares her experience from being a trans woman and professional events photographer, to covering Pride as a trans woman, and more.

Show Notes

The episode starts with the hosts discussing their most influential LGBT creators. Kimberly (as a middle-aged woman) follows Dylan Marron and Kat Blaque on Facebook. Janet Mock gives James life and Twitter is his social media channel of choice. And Mara finds inspiration from comedian Tig Notaro and our guest, Jax, who also happens to be her high school friend.

Jax is welcomed to the show and discusses how she got into photography and how embracing her femme identity through her wardrobe has resulted in dysphoria and concerns when it comes to her job as a professional photographer for events. As many of her clients are representative of a cisgender and heterosexual norm, she has concerns about showing up at work in clothing that she’s comfortable in due to the fact that these clients have worked with her when she presented as male. This has resulted in less business.

In contrast, Jax shares her experience shooting for Lambda Legal, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of LGBT people. Although she’s also a minority there as a non-conforming trans woman but how it’s necessary to show up authentically. When asked if it was important for those behind the camera to also be trans, she expressed support that having a transgender photographer also helps trans subjects feel accepted and seen.

Jax talks further about throwing out her masculine clothes and finding a femme wardrobe. The experience was terrifying, nerve-wracking, but also euphoric. Jax shares that she feels that masculinity isn’t policed as femininity is, and that as a trans woman wearing a green sparkling dress, it’s intimidating to be the only visibly trans person in public spaces.

The group discusses a microcosm situation where femme musicians are ignored while male musicians continue to only acknowledge other men. The group discusses how common the experience is amongst any group of skilled folks. Jax acknowledges that when she was male, she remembers embodying the same thinking.

How do we think that cis and hetero people change our way of thinking about gender? Jax thinks that it will be good to experiment with your gender expression that challenges norms and see how people look at you.

Provided by Jax and used with her permission


Listen to more episodes of Unheard for free on the following platforms:

Learn more about Project Ava Presents: Unheard at

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