Photo Essay: Agents of Expression – Outside The Gender Binary

Photo Essay: Agents of Expression – Outside The Gender Binary

Every person has the right to control their own body, their own clothes, their own personhood, writes Teddy. Their photo essay shows nonbinary people reinventing style beyond the boundaries of gender or the assumptions of mainstream society.

We are our own role models, we are our own artistic inspirations. We are authenticity, beauty, power, and we create our own cover models.

I organised this photoshoot in July 2019 at Cat Scratch Studio. It was a way of reclaiming power for me and my 10 nonbinary models—power over our bodies and our wardrobes.

We also showcased how we effortlessly redefine clothes through a trans lens, how we flick away the pressure of conformity and cisnormativity, raise a perfectly plucked eyebrow at binary assumptions, and bask in the radiance of accessorising and styling our own aesthetic through the garments which make us feel powerful.

I wanted to show that there is no nonbinary ‘look’; models don’t have to be masculine, slim, or white to be androgynous, and to convey the depth of style, gender, and lack-of-fucks-given by those outside the gender binary.

A total of 23 photographs were exhibited at Hares & Hyenas, a queer bookshop and venue in Melbourne, for one night at Wear It Purple Day Cabaret, an event I organised for Wear It Purple in 2019. The exhibition and live performance cabaret was funded by a City of Yarra Small Projects Grant.

Featured models: Nicholas Gray, Caleb Darwent, Tushar Bist, Fey Kapur, Leo Fenech, Jesse Sammut, Irene Zhong, Maddi Kraan, Artemis Munoz and Artemis Tor. Thanks to Yarra City Council for the contribution, and to Alexis Desaulniers-Lea for always having time to teach me about lighting, and for the use of her studio. Thanks to all of my incredible models, friends, and colleagues, you inspire me.