Cahill, H 2015, ‘Can science remove gender boundaries completely?’, Dazed & Confused, UK, 26 Feb 2015
Alison Bennett’s photographic series […] Inverto depicts an astonishing transformation enabled by hormone therapy and a double mastectomy following pregnancy. Not only is the two-year project a stunning testament to the technologies available for trans people wishing to redefine themselves, the photos themselves are a crucial part of the journey.
“Photography seems to hold a particular significance for transgender people,” Bennett says. “It’s a way of affirming their identity, for confirming that the outside looks like the inside.”
The glitchy animation represents the mental and social strains of the transgender experience as well; it is not just documenting a cosmetic change. With many insurance companies denying the psychological significance of gender reassignment, it remains important that healthcare professionals don’t see the surgery as a vanity project. The surgical therapies are now very advanced, but a debate fuelled by prejudice and ignorance is stagnating progress. In December last year, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo wrote to insurance companies banning them from refusing transgender treatments, making NY the ninth state to require the coverage. This is the kind of political leadership we need to give transgender men and women the health care they deserve; we’ve got much of the science already.