To Survive on This Shore

To Survive on This Shore

Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults

To Survive on This Shore is a collaboration between Jess T. Dugan, photographer, and Vanessa Fabbre, social worker and assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis, whose research focuses on the intersection of LGBTQ issues and aging. For over five years, Dugan and Fabbre traveled throughout the United States seeking subjects whose experiences exist within the complex intersections of gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, sexuality, socioeconomic class and geographic location. The featured individuals have a wide variety of life narratives spanning ninety years, offering an important historical record of transgender experience and activism in the United States.

The exhibition includes twenty-two photographs, each paired with text illuminating the stories of those photographed. A hardcover catalogue (Kehrer Verlag, 2018; available here) accompanies the show and contains sixty-five portraits and texts as well as an interview with Dugan and Fabbre conducted by Karen Irvine, Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, IL. The exhibition and catalogue provide a nuanced view into the struggles and joys of growing older as a transgender person and offer a poignant reflection on what it means to live authentically despite seemingly insurmountable odds.

To Survive on This Shore was on view at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University from January 23 – April 28th, 2019.

To Survive on This Shore was on view at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum from May 10 – June 30, 2019

To Survive on This Shore was on view at the University of New Mexico Art Museum from August 23 – December 7, 2019.

To Survive on This Shore was on view at the George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY from June 19, 2021 – January 2, 2022.

To Survive on This Shore was on view at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Portland State University, Portland, OR from February 8 – April 30, 2022.


For inquiries about To Survive on This Shore, please contact us.