Some people see gender through a very narrow lens, a state-of-being that is fixed and cannot be altered in any way without taking on a strange or “unacceptable” form. A photo series from Canadian photographer JJ Levine will probably convince you otherwise, especially when you see how easy it is for one person to take on both male and female forms in the same scene.
Making its debut on BuzzFeed, the series is called “Alone Time,” and acts as a representation of the photographer’s beliefs:
I’m trans, so I think about this stuff all the time in my day-to-day life. I express myself through image making; this focus is just one way that I can convey my ideas about myself and the world and the sometimes-messy intersection of the two.
All of the models in the images are people from Levine’s personal life, and even though the same model is used to represent both genders in each picture, there have been no digital alterations to change specific human characteristics. “The images are successful because they are visually convincing without manipulation of the subjects’ gender markers through means other than makeup, costume, and pose,” explained Levine.
Inspiration for the series came from John Waters’ Female Trouble in which the protagonist, Dawn Davenport, has sex with Earl Peterson, a strange man who picks her up at the side of the road. The camera switches back and forth between the two characters, capturing them both, but never at the same time. A task which would have proved impossible because both were played by the iconic drag queen Divine.