Delia Marie K. (Dee), born David Murray K., experienced several marriages and several 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, a good friend, 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 photograph Dee’s day to day activities and in the process spent great deal of time talking to her and her friends and family. My photo-essay aims to show a short and intimate glimpse into Dee’s current life.
The concept I soon became aware of was that gender is a spectrum. “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.” (Wikipedia)
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 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 […] A seven-point scale comes nearer to showing the many gradations that actually exist.”
The discussion about sexual orientation as opposed as to physical gender orientation is far too involved for this series to explore in significant detail. The discovery that gender and sexual orientation is not an on/off switch but rather a dimmer switch was a revelation, the weight of which, took me by surprise.