Edie captured in their boyfriend’s parent home in Berkeley.
Melissa Faithful for Art-Sheep
“Agender” is a term used to describe people who identify as neither male or female and are addressed to with the pronounce “they”, instead of “he” or “she”.
Photographer Chloe Aftel captures these individuals as a commissioned project by San Francisco Magazine. Inspired by the story of Maybeck High School senior Sasha Fleischman , Aftel focuses on the lives, thoughts and feelings of the people she photographs. On November 4th, 2013, Sasha Fleischman was attack while sleeping on a public bus, an assault that left them with 2nd and 3rd degree burns on their legs. Fleischman’s story made headlines across the San Francisco Bay area making Fleischman a hero for the agender and genderqueer community.
Aftel shot Fleischman as well as other people who do not see their gender as something that can be defined by society. One of these people is Emma, who like most of them, speaks their mind and comments on the issue of gender. “I think a lot of people like to see gender as this scale of blue and pink. I never really identified with either side of that, or even in between blue and pink. It’s so much more complicated—my identity varies so much on any given day. Sometimes I tell people I’m gold or something.”
According to researchers, people who live as neither male or female are being discriminated and bullied by the LGBT community, as their choice to not define their gender provokes intense reactions. People like Fleischman though, simply want to be who they are.
Sarah is one of Sasha’s closest friends, shot in their room in their parents house. They are in high school and live at home
Sasha was lit on fire on a public bus because they were wearing a skirt and a men’s shirt. The image was taken shortly after Sasha was released from the hospital in their parent’s living room.
Emma, shot in their apartment in San Francisco. They plan to possibly change their name after high school.
Mariyln lives at home with their parents. Growing up, Mariyln felt neither a man or a woman fit their identity as an adult.
Mark was shot in their San Francisco apartment. They wear both “male” and “female” clothing.
Micah identifies as neutrois or an absence of gender.
Rain models professionally, usually as a man. Here they are shot in their apartment in Berkeley.
Rain with their girlfriend.