Broadly Unveils Trans, Nonbinary Stock Photos
The Gender Spectrum Collection aims to depict trans people living life
By Sarah Marloff,
12:48PM, Tue. Mar. 26, 2019
Sometimes, it’s the little things that make the biggest difference … or maybe we’re far too hopeful about the power of one gender-inclusive stock photo library. Who can say?
Regardless, Qmmunity is taking a few minutes today to celebrate Broadly’s launch of The Gender Spectrum Collection, a stock photo library filled with vibrant, colorful images of trans and non-binary models doing real life activities like drinking coffee, cuddling, and partying with friends.
While this shouldn’t be groundbreaking, any good editor can tell you just how difficult it is to find gender (and race) inclusive images that go beyond trans flags or, as Broadly writes, “putting on makeup” and holding said flags. The collection – featuring nearly 200 stock photos under the categories of Relationships, Work, Technology, Health, School, and Lifestyles – was created by Broadly to help media outlets “better represent” trans, nonbinary, and QTPOC folks “as people not necessarily defined by their gender identities.”
Introduced in a long piece by Broadly’s editor-in-chief Lindsay Schrupp, the collection is one step toward improving how trans people are depicted in the media, which – historically – rarely shows trans folks engaging in everyday life. This, writes Schrupp “severely limits the range of experiences we imagine transgender people to have.” Schrupp also points out, and Qmmunity can relate, that stories on trans experience often rely on “images of singular body parts, or disembodied torsos and obscured faces.” Schrupp, crediting GLAAD’s Nick Adams, concludes: “these images, detached of a human face or body, feel ‘very reductionistic, and it seems like it's sending out a message that trans people are ashamed, so we don't show our faces.’”
While Schrupp admits, “greater inclusivity in photo libraries alone won’t solve this issue,”and calls on all of us editors to find better imagery and – beyond – bring in more trans and nonbinary contributors (we couldn’t agree more), this is a great starting place. And, fittingly, the collection was launched less than a week before the International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, created to celebrate and spotlight the many accomplishments of the trans community and those within it.
Featuring 15 trans and non-binary models, the images were shot by Zackary Drucker, and have been made available to the public and other media sites for free (with credit, of course). Access them at broadlygenderphotos.vice.com.