Amy for HEN by Bex Day

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Amy, Truro, 2022.

When I came out as transgender five years ago I had no idea that I wasn’tonly transitioning my gender but also from a position in society of relative privilege and security to join a tiny marginalised minority. This shift has resulted in dramatic changes to my family, work and living arrangements which have eventually made me a stronger and more independent person. So when I saw Bex’s appeal for models for Hen I did something I would never have done before transition, I thought ‘I need to do this’. This was because I believe that the more visible trans people become the more likely it is that they will become accepted within society.

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Hen is an anthropological study on the fluidity of gender, and an exploration into the lasting impact societal restrictions concerning sexual
identity and gender roles have upon us. It is an ongoing project that began in 2016. Day investigates how gender stereotypes have affected the transgender community and asks if the
modern day feminist movement has had a resonating impact on how we define gender - and if as a society we should.

Hen translates in Swedish as the gender neutral personal pronoun, the equivalent to ‘they’ in English. Transgender is an umbrella term and includes those who identify as transgender and non-binary, which is explored within the works.

Featuring over 100 subjects over the age of forty, Hen tells the personal stories of those within the community, and the common themes of loss
and discovery that unite them throughout their journey.
An all-encompassing, empowering study of individuals within a social group on the fringes of society, the exhibition shows both the light-hearted and the disquieting moments they experience.

Universal, relatable moments of isolation, self-acceptance and the resilience of the human spirit are told through personal stories and intimate
photographs. Given a platform, the subjects find a voice, a sense of pride, and for some, the motivation to come out to family and friends.
When viewed in the context of the individual the notion of gender becomes difficult to define, and it is through this ambiguity that Hen
essentially questions how we as a society define gender, sexuality, and the inherent problems in these alienating classifications.

Powerful, enlightening, and at times bittersweet, Hen serves as a monograph for the older generation of the UK’s trans community



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Bex Day is a photographer and director from London. Her work focuses on challenging rigid beauty ideals and the themes of gender, identity, diversity and freedom of choice.