Back in January, we profiled legendary vogue dancer Leiomy Maldonado. The face of an the entire vogue and ballroom subculture, Leiomy has made it her mission to spread the joy of her dance form to the masses, schooling divas like Rihanna and Beyonce along the way. Now, the Amazon Mother is hitting the pages of Vanity Fair to help promote a new portrait series by photographer Mark Seliger collected in a book titled On Christopher Street.
According to VF, the project started after "Seliger and an assistant photographed two women in the late afternoon light, they followed their subjects to a church, where a panel for transgender folks was being held. After that meeting, Seliger said "we started to build the idea that maybe this was a bigger project than what I had considered it at first.'"
Following the launch of the project Seliger would return to Christopher Street to photograph the various minority communities that had gathered at the historic location. “There’s something liberating that someone is being seen for who they are, and that was almost the mantra, was being seen,” Seliger said, describing the project. “ I thought, ‘If I could just find a way to build this confidence of this person and get to know the person a little bit and an idea of where the portrait was gonna go.’”
While trans people have been entering the public sphere as celebrities for a while now, part of the aim of the project was to give lesser known icons and rather regular trans people the spotlight as a way of promoting tolerance. “The more that we understand, the more that we got those fears down, the more that that tolerance spreads into everything,” he said. “The way that you kindle your fire is to be around a burning flame.”
[Photo: Vanity Fair]