Gender Fluid Portrait Session : Fort Collins, Colorado
I work in the photography industry (um, clearly) where I see (and do) a lot of wedding photography, and birth announcements, and birthday parties, and general portrait sessions, and a lot of these sessions have at least a little something to do with the concept of gender: But what really IS gender? What is it to you? Is gender given to us at birth? Is it something we get to choose? Is it something that is imposed on us by society? Is it fixed? Can it change? Is is binary? Is it related to our sex organs? Our genitals? (another word I never thought I would ever type on this blog- genitals) Is it defined by the way we dress? Is it defined by the things we like? The colors we're drawn to? Blue, pink? YELLOW? Traditional? Conforming? Fluid? So many questions, and honestly I don't know if I ever need answers. I don't think that any of these things limit our gender identities. I feel we can choose to be however we want to be! I've always been interested by these "typical" gender-challenging concepts. As a woman who has been in relationships with other women, and as a woman who loves to hike, and fly fish, who wears pants, and enjoys the color blue- all "man" things (according to society's idea of gender)- I have a very wide definition of what gender means. I don't subscribe to the limited view that our society pushes on us of gender roles, i.e. that as a woman I should stay in the kitchen, wear only dresses, and love the smell of lemon cleanser. Obviously these are hugely stereotypical, but hopefully it paints the picture of just how limiting "traditional" gender ideas can be.
We are in a highly volatile time in the U.S. with the #metoo movement and the #timesup awareness. This post is not about those things, but in this time I would like to think that people can be open-minded enough to have a discussion around what gender actually means to them, and then listen to what others have to say. This session is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to busting up gender "norms" and opening the door to a more fluid acceptance of people expressing themselves in any way they want to. I hope to work with these talented souls again, and look forward to exploring these ideas through my photography.