In the Western world, it can be argued that persons of color exist with reduced experiences because of discrimination. With this as a given, the black LGBT person often deals with layered complexity which may involve family, friend, religious and/or ethnic group abandonment. Communities that normally provide support and a sense of belonging can be eliminated, creating intense isolation and a small circle of trusted individuals.
The overall transgender community exists as almost a separate subculture of the umbrella LGBT group, however the black transgender person faces very unique challenges. Within this transgender community the percentage of black individuals is less than societally proportionate - as a result black transgender people face isolation even among their peers.
Naechané Valentino Romeo is a black transgender male.
This photographic project is about Naechané - a 12-month documentation of a person establishing his identity both emotionally and physically while experiencing the unique challenges of being a black transgender person. The purpose of the project is to increase awareness and sow seeds for a cultural heritage of black transgender men and women.
Leon Cato Photography