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We Are Fluide
Salem VenusPhotography Landyn Pan, creative direction Dev Doee, make-up Chris Tabassi and Ashley "Pepper" Nazario

These joyful portraits celebrate Trans Day of Visibility

TextAlex Peters

Photographer Landyn Pan and We Are Fluide have collaborated on a vibrant shoot of the transgender community

Every year on March 31 we observe Trans Day of Visibility – a joyous celebration of the transgender community in all its beauty and vitality, and an important call to action to demand equality for all members. To mark the occasion, beauty brand We Are Fluide teamed up with photographer Landyn Pan to host a celebratory open call photoshoot for people of trans experience. The result is 14 colourful, vivacious portraits styled by the brand’s creative director Dev Doee. Alongside the images, We Are Fluide gifted 100 make-up sets to members of the trans community who applied to join the shoot and launched a TDOV make-up set, of which 20 per cent of sales will go to the Black Trans Travel Fund.

“This campaign is all about reimagining what a trans future can look like,” Doee says about the shoot. “I wanted to highlight the joy of being trans and showcase our otherworldly beauty. Trans people (especially of colour) have always been at the forefront of culture and trends, so I wanted this to reflect the beauty and nuance of people of trans experience.”

For Pan, who previously documented the vibrant naked paint parties he held to allow trans and gender nonconforming people to open up emotionally and physically, ensuring that the images be an accurate representation of the community was vital. “It was important to showcase real, everyday trans people,” he says. “Most trans people out in the world aren’t professional models and influencers and we wanted that to be reflected in the photography.”

That the subjects aren't professional models is also what gives the portraits so much charm. There's a real sense of complete emotional honesty, openness, and joy. “I loved seeing everyone when they were really feeling their looks,” says Pan. While at first many of the participants were shy, they quickly overcame that to become confident and let their true personalities shine. “As a photographer it’s so fun to see this shift and to give people the spotlight and make them feel important.”

As well as spotlighting trans people in front of the camera, it was important to everyone involved that the community was also represented behind the scenes. It was working with this team that stands out as a favourite memory of the day for Desmond is Amazing, performer, Dazed 100-er, and participant in the shoot. “I always feel excited to do a photoshoot because I meet a lot of interesting and diverse people with so many talents,” they shared. “I think when you have a production of all trans people there is a sense of comfort and family that is not always felt,” says Doee. “There was an overwhelming sense of community in the room.”

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