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.

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