Delia - A Transgender Female
ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT
Delia Marie K. (Dee), born David Murray K., experienced four marriages and three divorces, a major depression and many suicidal thoughts, before recognizing that life, as a man in a male body was not sustainable. In 2011, at age 54, and with the help of Penny, David's wife, Dee began to emerge as a new person.
Dee is a transgender female I followed in Chicago, Illinois to photograph her immersion into her life as a woman.
When I first came upon Dee’s profile on a modeling site, I was looking for models to photograph and noticed that in her profile she had specifically mentioned that she was a transgender female so as to prevent any misunderstandings. After our initial contact, I began to photograph Dee’s day to day activities and in the process spent great deal of time talking to her and her friends and family.
The concept I soon became aware of was that gender is a spectrum. According to Wikipedia: “A spectrum is a condition that is not limited to a specific set of values but can vary infinitely within a continuum.” – and – “Continuum … models explain variation as involving a gradual quantitative transition without abrupt changes or discontinuities.”
In his research on sexuality, Alfred Kinsey developed what is known as the Kinsey Scale, which he described as follows:
“Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats. It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories… The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects.
While emphasizing the continuity of the gradations between exclusively heterosexual and exclusively homosexual histories, it has seemed desirable to develop some sort of classification which could be based on the relative amounts of heterosexual and homosexual experience or response in each history […] An individual may be assigned a position on this scale, for each period in his life. […] A seven-point scale comes nearer to showing the many gradations that actually exist.”
The discussion about sexual orientation as opposed to physical gender orientation is a discussion too involved for this photo series to be able to grasp in any significant detail but just the fact that gender and sexual orientation is not an on/off but rather a dimmer switch was a revelation, the weight of which, took me by surprise.
My photo essay, aims to show a short and intimate glimpse into Dee's current life.