Jesse, Upper West Side, New York, NY
Young drag queen and burlesque performer, dresses up as a man-woman with a tie and vest on top and women's panties, fishnets, and glittery red high heel shoes on bottom in his Eqyptian-themed bedroom with a movie poster advertising the 1954 American film The Egyptian, keyboard and microphone, and life-sized Egyptian sarcophagus and bust against the wall. New York, NY
Xenia, Queens, NYC
A young thin topless semi-nude Japanese Asian man with long hair covering his upper chest and wearing jeans stands next to a make-up table in his apartment. Queens, New York.
Dean, 21. Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Young Black Man wearing Colorful Tights, Shorts, pink high heel shoes and Designer Fur Coat with ghosts faces stitched onto the arm exposing his chest stands in bathroom of brightly colored Wiliamsburg factory building that has pink and green painted walls. Brooklyn, New York
Manzin, 32, Columbiana, OH
Young Man in Black Fur Coat With face painted white wearing make-up leans against bushes and is Dressed Like and Is a Devotee of Marilyn Manson, Brooklyn, New York
Judson (Bed), 21, Chelsea, NYC.
Young semi-nude topless red-headed man with pale, fair skin sits in his pink underwear and scarf on his messy bed in his blue painted room. Chelsea, NYC
Chris, 20, Jersey City, NJ
Young punk-inspired stylish Hispanic Latino man with spiked hair, bullet belt, and knee-high black leather boots stands defiantly in an alley behind the building where he lives. Jersey City, NJ
Robert (Mermaid). Queens, NY
Semi-nude topless Hispanic man with tattoos wears his mermaid costume next to a mirror in his apartment living room. He owns many different costumes. Queens, NY
John-Mark, 20, Upper East Side, NYC.
Young curly-haired man wearing necklace and open striped shirt and jeans stands in front of trash cans chained against a building's green wall. Upper East Side, New York, NY
Rick. Upper West Side, New York, NY
A middle-aged man, who is a professional Liza Minnelli impersonator, sits in a chair in front of his vanity and Mac computer at home in his bedroom. Upper West Side, New York, NY
Brandon, 21, Bushwick, Brooklyn
Young Black Gay Man in Gold Glittery Corset Kneels on a Stool Next to A Mirror in His Bedroom, Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York
Wendell, 21, Bushwick, Brooklyn.
A young Hispanic man with long curly hair wearing jeans and boots leans against a lamp post surrounded by evergreen trees in a small park. Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY
Dean, 21. Williamsburg, Brooklyn
A young black African-American man wears bright purple and pink tights, high heels, and designer coat and lays outstretched on a factory dock with graffiti next to a cat. Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
Bryce, 21, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
A young black African-American man wearing bright gold stretch pants, bandana, vest, and work boots sits on a backward turned chair in the kitchen of his apartment. Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
Matt, 33, Upper East Side, NYC
A topless semi-nude man wearing make-up and lipstick in billowy puffy dress with pink ruffles around his neck leans against the fireplace mantle in a luxurious and opulent apartment living room with large chandelier, ornate candle holders and chairs, and statues of the religious figure Buddha on the wall. Upper East Side, New York City.
Gender identity and sexuality can be perplexing things. Though somewhat malleable, they define and confine who we are and how we express ourselves, especially through behavior and dress. Men particularly are bound by the dictates of gender. To be a ‘real man,’ an outward display of manliness and masculinity are paramount and any hint of femininity is looked on with suspicion. Expression of one’s gender identity and sexuality, especially in public, must remain within a narrow range of prescribed, acceptable social norms. Little boys are conditioned as such from birth, almost as a universal absolute. But this ignores the full story of male identity. There is a large spectrum of male experience that is deemed off limits by popular society. The men in this portrait series fall outside traditional notions of manliness and masculinity. They possess an effeminate manner and use fashion and fantasy to express a ‘girlishness’ that is as much a part of being male as weightlifting and football. They boldly embrace expressions of male identity which flaunt the confines of conventional conceptions of manhood and what it means to be a man.