Sarah Deragon is a San Francisco based photographer who has embarked on a project called “The Identity Project“. The Identity Project was launched in 2014, and “seeks to explore the labels we choose to identify with when defining our gender and sexuality.” This body of work asks for members of the LGBTQ community to choose a handful of terms of which they would describe their sexuality, and then have their portrait taken by Deragon. It’s a small project but has been done in many states across America.
People who have taken part have used terms such as “Bigender Drag Gay”, “Agender Feminophile” and “Arty Arty Femme Creep” to describe their sexuality/gender.I feel it really takes away a lot of stigma around this community, as they are giving themselves labels rather than society trying to take away an individuals identity by giving them a hurtful label (the likes of “faggot”, “pansy” etc). It’s also a unique way of self-exploration; many just describe themselves with the terms “gay”, “straight”, “transgender”, “asexual” etc. whereas this allows individuals to really think about how they see themselves, and how they would like the world to see them. Some of the entries can be seen as humorous, and I feel that really hits back at people who are anti-LGBTQ.
As featured in Policy Mic, The Identity Project dares “to explore the labels we choose to identify with when defining our gender and sexuality.”
I feel this is a really interesting project and I would personally love to see any differences in terminology between this project and a similar one done inthe UK.