Maike & Emma Frisch

I admit that I was always confused - if not even a bit scared - when I met people with a transsexual background. I felt threatened in a way I could only describe as insecure, uninformed and not accepting.

This has led my wife and me to a photographic journey that turned our world upside down. To understand my own insecurities, I started wondering about how society, in general, reacts to people who disrupt the core beliefs of gender. Being raised as a boy and growing up as a man, I started to dress as a woman in order to gather feedback from the people I meet. Little did I know about the journey that was (and still is) ahead of me.

This project is not only about the question of whether it is suitable for men to wear dresses. Changing your perceived gender changes your perspective on a lot of things, including your own identity, the society you live in, or the value of your own life. Starting from self-doubt, over the definition of unconditional love, all the way to the question of who we really are and what (or who) defines us as masculine or feminine, I am trying to translate all those questions into photographs with the help of my loving wife. Every photograph represents questions I have asked myself or situations I have been confronted with. Believing that gender identity is something people should not have to explain, we invite the viewer to ask their own questions. This is an ongoing project, with o end in sight. Not only, because we see this as an important subject in our time, but also because this project taught us how artificial and harmful it is to push people into certain gender roles. And this is exactly what photography, at least for us, has always been about: Changing people’s perspective, and our own, on things that really matter.

Today we live as a lesbian couple in a small town in Germany. Nobody cares, despite our many concerns we had before my transition.

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