Femme the man: Photographer takes shots of ‘masculine’ men as women in nude and powerful series to empower gender-fluid kids
A photographer has taken shots of ‘masculine’ men as women in the nude and powerful FEMME THE MAN campaign to empower gender-fluid kids.
Thomas Evans, 34, from Manhattan, New York, hopes to break down the labels of male and female with his series that started two-years-ago.
He took inspiration from the women’s marches after President Trump’s leaked comment ‘Grab them by the p****’ and the need to support children who are non-gender conforming.
As well as his mindset switch from a young male ashamed of his sexuality, to an adult proud of embracing both sides of his personality
Featuring 25 models so far, he hopes the more people are seen to be embracing both masculine and feminine sides of their being, the easier it will be for future generations.
In the shoots, ‘masculine’ looking males are photographed, sometimes fully-nude, in both the way they present themselves to the world and them embracing an effeminate side.
He used make-up, wigs, hairnets and more, in a bid to try to normalise freedom of self-expression and of his talent, he recently featured the Human Ken Doll, Rodrigo Alves.
Thomas, a photo-artist, said: “I’m normalising the idea that you can be whoever you want to be, dress however you want to.
“You don’t need to put yourself into a box, a category or under a label that society wants you to fit into.
“It’s so important for freedom of self-expression, you should be who you want to be.
“I choose model who outwardly look very masculine – with tattoos, facial hair, muscular and rough look.
“Growing up as a gay child, I felt a lot of shame so I tried to hide who I was and created these walls, but now as an adult I recognise being able to access masculine and feminine is a gift.
“As a gay man, I am able to present as a man and still have the emotional response as feminine, which to me is more compassion, sensitive to the world, more empathetic.
“To me being able to carry both is a gift, I want to take the best of each energies and use them.
“I hope for zero judgement on how people present themselves and breaking down stereotypes.
“Society is moving in such a rapid direction that gender is not male or female anymore, the new generation is gender fluid.
“They don’t have to decide to be either a man or a woman in the world but can create their own path, I’m trying to normalise that idea.”
Since starting the Femme the Man campaign in 2016, Thomas says there have been mixed reviews by spectators online – but that he is grateful it’s bring about conversation.
He added: “It’s been very positive, I mean I do get hate comments, but I find that interesting as an artist as you have to be open to everybody’s opinion.
“Social media often gives people a false sense of empowerment, where they believe the can say or be extremely mean or vulgar behind their safety net.
“Some people have said that my work is ‘disgusting’ because ‘men are not supposed to be women’ but also have fans who defend the work.
“I try my best not to respond, I allow the people to make their own judgements and have their own conversation.
“I never set-out for the photo-campaign to be controversial, I follow my passion in life and feel like I’m expressing my hope for equality.
“I want to promote diversity, equality, compassion and love.”
One of the models featured by Thomas, has since gone onto live as a transgender woman.
Thomas said: “The first person I photographed for the campaign is now living their life as a transgender woman, I gave the individual a safe place to express that and access their own feelings.
Thomas said some of his favourite photographs were of African-American men whose images he believes to be particularly powerful.
“I want to photograph a lot of different people; the common thread is that they present a masculine image to the world.
“A lot of gay men feel that to fit into society they have to present a masculine image to be taken seriously, because if they present more effeminately they could be construed as weaker or vulnerable.”
He said: “Some of the images that I believe standout most are the African-American men, I think they are more stigmatised in the community.
“When an African-American man gets to show femininity and show that to the word I feel that is a very powerful statement.”
Visit his site for more: www.thomasevansphotography.com