I have always had a strong affinity for humanizing portraits of unconventional subjects – encountering Géricault’s portrayals of the insane had an immediate and profound effect on my psyche. Similar subject matter remains a favorite of mine.
So you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover these gorgeous portraits of transgender Parisian women in the 1950s and 1960s.
via Dangerous Minds:
“These beautiful photographs of transgender women, in Paris from the late 1950s and early 1960s were taken by Swedish photographer Christer Strömholm, who traveled to Paris in the late-fifties, where he hoped to create a new kind of night-life street photography. Strömholm lived in the Red Light district, around Place Blanche and Pigalle, where he made friends with many of the young transgender women who worked the streets and hotels to make a living.”
A true revolutionary, Strömholm published the portraits in his 1983 book “Les Amies de Place Blanche” (It’s worth pointing out that he uses “amies,” the feminine-plural of “friends.” As we still live in an age where we have difficulty accepting “chosen” pronouns and identities, this subtlety demonstrates tremendous empathy and respect that is undoubtedly ahead of its time).