Series, Peter, 1998-2003
2 x C-Type (school photographs)
5 x Silver Gelatin Photographs
In 1998, a friend of mine changed her name to Peter, started binding her chest, taking testosterone, and living as a man. Observing Peter’s metamorphosis over the next few months and years, was both extraordinary and wonderful - witnessing a shy, awkward woman transform into a self-confident, proud man. A moment that will always stand out in my memory was one night, when I bumped into Peter at a party, after having not seen him for a couple of months. During that time, his voice had dropped and he’d started shaving. I’ll never forget the smile on his face. I offered to take some portraits of him to document and celebrate his transition into manhood. He agreed.
Over the next few months and years I started documenting Peter during different stages of his transition. The photographs in the bathroom were taken about a week before Peter went into hospital to undertake a double mastectomy in 1999 – part of his transition process. He wanted some photographs to remember his old body. These are some of the most vulnerable and honest portraits I have ever taken. I felt extremely privileged and honoured as his friend, to be allowed into such a personal space – it was most courageous of him to have shared such private moments with me.
At the time these photographs were never intended for public display, however, with Peter’s permission, were exhibited in the group show Re-identifications at the Australian Centre for Photography in 2003.
- Tina Fiveash, 2003
Photo index: Left to Right: Peter 1978; Peter 1986; Peter 1998; Peter I, 1999; Peter II, 1999; Peter III, 1999; Peter & Lesley, 2002.