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Artist Statement

“I'll be with you

When the man in you dies

When every stare glazes over

And the oceans rise”

  • Indigo de Souza


I love being around people, even when it makes me nervous. I love being around those I’m closest to, more specifically, which also sometimes makes me nervous. 


I used to think that photographing people was nearly impossible, and that I would never be able to capture another person justly. I have always known that I love taking photos of people, but no matter how long I would spend taking photos of a single person, I was never satisfied with the results. I realized after a few years, however, that my problem with portraiture had less to do with my skill set as a photographer, and more to do with my ability to connect with people. 


For a lot of my teenage years, I felt some discomfort around other people, which I suppose is normal for your teens. What manifested differently from the average social awkwardness, however, stemmed from a greater sense of blind turmoil, surrounding both my gender and sexuality. I was born female, but have always felt pressure to be a man. 


My confusing dynamic with gender began when I was very young, around the same time I started to perceive things. Now that I am 23, not much has changed with regards to my confusion. Everyday, I ask myself basically the same question, along the lines of: “What is an appropriate way to express my deep lack of understanding for gender presentation?” While I don’t wish to be cisgender, I do wish that I could understand the comfort of it.


Ever since I started making photos of my trans peers, I have begun to find some cushion within my relationship to gender. I am starting to understand a sense of comfort in my transness. My similarly complicated relationship with photography has often lent itself to my confusion. Emotional clarity hopefully and eventually comes after the legitimate labor of trying to accept oneself.


Being a part of the queer/trans community is a privilege and it pushes me to see more clearly. The people I love are the lens through which I see almost everything, and are the ones whom I rely on for a safe space. I want to be able to share the immense intimacy and trust that goes into queer relationships, and how each relationship that I’ve cultivated in my life is a representation of that work. I aim to acknowledge and capture the depths of self acceptance that each trans person I know has struggled to hold.

Kat McLane

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