Melissa Faithful for Art-Sheep
Late 70s, New Orleans and Mardi Gras. A perfect combination under which photographer Mariette Pathy Allen first met cross-dressers.
This random encounter that led to a multi-decade exploration of the transgender community, inspired the photographer to focus on the lives and families of these people, photographing them for her series Transformations, a series that documented cross-dressers’ lives throughout the 1980s. “This chance meeting took me into a mostly closeted world of men who need to express their “feminine sides..” Realizing early on that I had stumbled upon something potentially liberating and almost completely misunderstood, I set out to de-freakify, and to offer a different view,” explains the artist. These intimate portraits and photographs of family members and personal objects, offer a different view to a society that misjudged and didn’t accept them.
Since its publishing in a book in 1989, this work is one of the most empowering series of works focusing on gender issues.
Maxine, Ariadne, and Virginia at the Unitarian Chruch, Provincetown, MA
Carol with neon, Provincetown, MA
Dan and Yvonne, reversed couple
Ted, and Ted as Linda, NYC
Naomi, during “Fantasia Fair”
Chrysis, veteran, with her partner’s daughter
Beth and her husband, Rita, near Boston
Alice at Frederick’s of Hollywood, Los Angeles
Shirley and Malinda, backstage at the Fantasia Fair Follies
Sheila, crying in church, Provincetown, MA
Ramona and Cindy at an inn, Provincetown, MA
Rachel, watching her father transform into Paula, Philadelphia
Michelle and Betty Ann, Provincetown, MA
Bob becoming Malinda
John at Washing Machine factory, and John as Jackie
Ari/Ariadne, near Los Angeles
Elayne and son, Ryan, Iowa
Jane posing on the dunes, Provincetown, MA
Diahanna, San Francisco
Joanne and sister, Claudia
Vicky doing the can can with Cori and Julia, L.I., NY
Gwen, Milwaukee, WI
Vanessa, Cape Cod
Line-up, Mardi Gras, New Orleans. The photographer’s source of inspiration.