The Transparent Life of Taben

A day in the life.

Transgender: An umbrella term (adj.) for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. The term may include but is not limited to: transsexuals, cross-dressers and other gender-variant people. Three percent of U.S. adults identify as transgender.

Not many people know what transgender means or accepts that it exists. To be a minority of that small of a percentage and not fit within the gender binary is a scary thing. It can make one feel like an outcast, not understood, or even rejected. According to forge-forward.org, an organization that seeks to improve the conditions of transgendered people,

• 19% have experienced domestic violence at the hands of a family member because of their transgender identity or gender non-conformity.

• 65% had attempted suicide, compared to 32% of those who had not been abused

• 48% experienced homelessness, a rate four times higher than those who were not abused (9%)

• 47% reported drinking or using drugs to cope with mistreatment, compared to 19% of those who had not been abused.

Taben is a 35 year old female to male transgender person. Taben is the mother of a soon to be 12 year old son (Allen) and is married happily his husband (Ryan). They will be celebrating 13 years together and 9 years married at the end of February. Taben leads what is considered a normal life as a student studying Conservation Biology and volunteers in his spare time, while his husband is a 3D graphic artist who creates animations for commercials. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Taben’s life.

This photostory will educate and inform the viewer to see the truth behind a transgendered person’s life – both the similarities and differences between Taben’s lifestyle and the “normal American lifestyle.” This photostory is a worthy pursuit because this story will shine light on the what it means to be a transgender person. It will show a truthful series of events of Taben’s life and what it could mean in relation to the viewer’s life. It is important because at least one person out of three percent of the population will have their story told in a truthful manner.

The Nature Realm is a favorite spot for Taben. A lot of patience and seeds have paid off for him as a bird graces his presence – a moment well sought after.

Visiting the Nature Realm is a treat for both nature lovers, Taben and his son, Allen. Allen is entranced on solving a Crow puzzle box while Taben assists.

908 proudly marks Taben and family’s new home. A to-do list stands as Taben and family prep to move into their new home.

The first step on the to-do list is painting the new home. The task of painting is enjoyable as Ryan (Taben’s husband) and Taben pass the time cracking jokes and telling stories.

After a morning of painting and labor, a much-needed lunch break takes place in the soon-to-be dining room of the family’s home. Ryan and Taben’s father, John, discuss plans for remodeling the home while enjoying pizza and jojos from a new favorite food joint.

Outside of Taben and family’s old apartment, Taben watches Allen make snow art on the side of the building. “They’re mountains,” says Allen.

An evening spent at the old apartment is filled with packing and preparation for the move into the new home. As Taben and Ryan have a discussion, Allen runs through the living room, causing commotion.

A sunny day sets the scene for Taben and Ryan as they enjoy a walk through the Gorge. Moments away from Allen are rare, so Taben and Ryan cherish their time together.

Upon walking through the Gorge, Taben spots a Snow Scorpion Fly in the snow and observes the insect. Taben mentions that Scorpion Flies are a “rare treat”, as they are one of two Scorpion Flies in Ohio.

A new door, means a new home. Taben and family unpack, move in and settle down.

Dinner time rolls around. Taben enjoys cooking and baking for Allen and Ryan. Gougla; a crisp, buttery garlic bread is something the whole family can enjoy.

Tonight’s dinner is spaghetti; one of Allen’s favorite meals. Allen isn’t too concerned about the meal as Taben and Allen break out into a discussion.

Dinner time is stressful for Taben when Allen does not behave at the table. After a finished meal, Taben rests and has a moment to gather his thoughts.

A new day calls for a new adventure. Taben navigates to find the quickest route to Firestone Metropark.

Upon arriving to Firestone, Taben spots a bird and looks up into his binoculars. Taben enjoys identifying different species of birds.

Taben and family spend the rest of their evening enjoying a walk through Firestone’s trails.