TranSItion – Seigar
This series aims to show the lives of four transgender people with the intention of making their reality visible, respected, and accepted by society through empathy. In the title: ‘TranSItion’, the syllable ‘SI’, which means yes in Spanish is capitalised and made bold to emphasise and reinforce this constructive and assertive approach to their stories. Each person is presented in two images: a portrait and a photograph of an object that represents their transition. The four participants opened up their houses and their rooms to me and the objective of showing their private lives like this was to expose their worlds. Fear is what leads human beings to discrimination or hate, so when people know the realities that they ignore, they can stop being afraid.
The objects were chosen by them as the symbols of their transitions and in this way the relationship people establish with objects was also explored. These things were positioned on top of different hashtags that were selected previously by the four to define themselves. The use of these labels is to show that they are more than their transitions because no one can only be described just by one word. The colours also portray their identity because the hashtags were printed using their favourite colours. The portraits become the traditional representation and the photographs of the objects give a more modern and technological way to understand their identity. Aarón, Mer, Wyatt, and Yuli were interviewed during the process of creating this series, and I want to say thank you for their trust and for opening up their hearts to me. Ignorance produces hate, knowing is the best way to tackle ignorance, and empathy is the only path to love. This project is part of my last focus and my interest in photography that is identity: everything that defines us.
Zodiac Sign: Leo
Favourite Colour: Green
TranSItion object: Aarón chose the ‘Mister Photogenic 2019’ band that he received in a male beauty pageant because he feels he has always been visible since he started his transition.
Hashtags: #humble #kind #brave #sincere #courteous #loyal #stubborn #determined #immediate #protector #reasonable #pacific.
About Aarón: Aarón has been given lectures and workshops about LGTBIQ people to inform and also to help, especially focusing on his personal experience. Since he was three years old, he liked his hair short. When he was eight, he was obliged to wear a dress, but he went back home to change, he would never put on a dress anymore. He liked playing football, but according to society that was not compatible with being a girl. He felt society was treating him in a way he didn’t feel like. He never felt he was a girl. He identifies himself as a gay guy. He didn’t suffer bullying at school probably because of his strong confidence. He keeps on living in the same neighbourhood and having the same friends and contacts. He confesses the operations can scar your life, but they are like war scars, which means “you suffer but at the same time you get stronger and that makes who you are”. He also visits schools to talk to students about transgender people. He prefers working with children or elderly people, giving the same information but just adapting it to the audience. He understands that there are many ways to be visible and to help others. He considers himself a reasonable and pacific person. His grandmother lived and experienced the dictatorship during Franco’s period, but he could change her mind to make her accept him. His dream would be not having to explain it and he also wishes there was no need to associate to fight for their rights. These days, he studies Speech Therapy at the University in Tenerife.
Name: Yuli Pérez
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
Favourite Colour: Pink
TranSItion object: Yuli chose a female shaving razor because it represents the harshness of social stigma. Women are not supposed to have body hair, so she feels women have made a mistake following the beauty rules that society imposes. She’s got sensitive skin so this makes it worse for her. She just feels that beauty is something more than having hair or not. Shaving hurts her and she finds all of this offensive. She considers herself pretty anyway, in fact, she is quite a confident girl.
Hashtags: #strong #force #brave #delicate #courage #empathic #happy #smiley #honest #sincere #intuitive #vain #teaser #transparent #anxious #impulsive #innocent.
About Yuli: She was raised as a girl, even though she would be called by her male name. She’s been out as a girl since she was 11 and she started her treatment at the age of 16. She feels she hasn’t suffered much because she started quite early. However, she has been bullied, and she has also been maltreated and thinks these issues are still ignored by society. She has experienced difficult situations and sad stories in her life that she doesn’t like sharing on her social media, but she would tell them if they could help others. She overcame a bad relationship with a man that was using her vulnerability during the transition in his advantage. Now, she is stronger, braver, and happier than before. She considers herself a straight girl, and even though she never thought she could have a love relation with another transgender person, she finally met someone and she is quite happy with him. She feels they can understand each other. She is an activist, although she is a bit tired of the associations because they require lots of effort and it’s also energy and time-consuming. She feels there is still discrimination and hypocrisy towards transgender people. However, her people accept and love her. She would like to write a book about her life, to leave a message behind so others can relate to her story. She defends her freedom in social networks, she likes to show her body but she sometimes has been attacked by her own friends. She is against this censorship. She would like it if people were more coherent with their ideas and values.
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Favourite Colour: Blue
TranSItion object: Wyatt chose a football because it represents his freedom. Wyatt always felt he belonged there. He could be who he really was playing this sport with his friends. The football pitch was a safe place to be himself, and just be one more guy in the male group.
Hashtags: #transparent #courteous #sincere #committed #generous #kind #friendofhisfriends #familyoriented #homely.
About Wyatt: Wyatt started his transition two years ago. He is a bit shy and he prefers others to do the talking, but he is also much loved because he is quite generous and kind. He is the person who would be looking around during meetings with family or friends to see if anyone needs anything so he can help. He is a helpful man. He feels that being so generous and caring can sometimes cause him troubles because he finds it hard to say no. He just likes pleasing people and likes to see them happy and fine. Football is his escape when he plays football he just feels like a child again, the number 7 was his number and he remembers how free and happy he was wearing that top. These days, he still plays and feels free. I interviewed and shot Wyatt in a difficult moment for him when he had just said goodbye to an important relative in his life. When I returned the football to him, he looked different and he was smiling. He is a strong man.
Zodiac Sign: Solar: Leo/Lunar: Sagittarius/Ascendant: Scorpio
Favourite Colour: Yellow-orange
TranSItion object: Mer chose a beautiful clown because she started her treatment during a summer when she visited her house in Germany, and this clown has always been there. She lives in Tenerife but she often travels to Germany. This object reminds her of her childhood. She likes the clown more than before because she feels like a girl.
Hashtags: #delicate #sensitive #intense #perseverant #fighter #advocate #supporter #activist.
About Mer: Since 2017, she started to behave socially as a girl. Last summer, she started her hormone treatment. She uses her social networks as a way to release her feelings. She is emotionally sensitive and now she thinks she is even more sensitive. These changes as a life metaphor also coincided in time with her moving from Germany to Tenerife. Her granny understood her and that is something that surprised Mer, but sadly she passed away last year. Mer has also suffered bullying at school, but she tries to see as part of her past, though she is conscious she still can feel the consequences. She is into art and is an illustrator. She also loves doing sketches and digital works. She also has a special connection with music. She kindly gave me some prints of her wonderful art pieces at the end of the shooting and the interview. She likes fighting for people’s rights. Mer feels she has got a fighter spirit.
About the artist
Seigar is a passionate travel, street, social documentary, conceptual and pop photographer based in Tenerife. He feels obsessed with pop culture and shows this in his series. He is a fetishist for reflections, saturated colours, curious finds, and religious icons. He also flirts with journalism and video. His main inspiration is traveling. His aim as an artist is to tell tales with his camera, creating a continuous storyline from his trips. His most ambitious projects so far are his ‘Plastic People’, a study on anthropology and sociology that focuses on the humanisation of the mannequins he finds in the shop windows all over the world, and his ‘Tales of a City,’ an ongoing urban photo-narrative project taken in London.
He is a philologist and also works as a secondary school teacher. He is a self-taught visual artist, though he has done a two years course in advanced photography and one in cinema and television. He has participated in several exhibitions and his works have been featured in many publications. He has collaborated with different media such as VICE and WAG1. He writes for The Cultural about photography and for Memoir Mixtapes about music. Lately, he has experimented with video forms. His latest interest is documenting identity. Recently, he received the Rafael Ramos García International Photography Award. Discover more on his website: seigar.wordpress.com and gallery: flickr.com/photos/theblueheartbeat/albums