Lecture Notes and Project Outline (05.11.13)

Today we were taught the importance of research and creating a structure to form our chosen topics, ideas, which thus becomes our final project. Notes taken:

What is your topic? Why would you choose this? “Destroy your Idols!” Challenge what you believe and think as well as those around you. What is your opinion? Can we even have an opinion? Our thoughts, interests, like and dislikes are an outcome of an accumulation of things our: history, culture, society, nurture, nature, friends, media and so on. Find your own niche and experience. Explore and challenge it. Why you? What will you bring to the topic?  How do we seek our information? Who can we trust? Why do you trust them? Books are great because its resource whereby somebody has done all the work for you! Get reading! Author is a function. What counts, as Nietzsche’s work is the polished, completed, concise and edited version. There are certain rules. There will be a series of ideas our project will hang on which we must constantly challenge. “To a man with a hammer every problem is a nail”.

Project (Rough) Outline

Inspirational Images and People


Topic-What? Why would I choose this? What is my view? Why should I do this? What will I bring?

I want to explore the older generation of people in the U.K who are transgender and/or transsexual. This topic is something I’ve always been intrigued by. I’ve come to realize how despite it being a very current and slowly more accepted issue, there’s not much insight about it within the U.K. Especially, those who are transgender or transsexual and are in their 40-60’s. But they do exist. I want to focus on the older generation because I feel they’re very much still a minority whose stories must be heard in order to: raise awareness, challenge social ideas of the physicality of transsexual and transgender people, complexities surrounding body image, offer insight to others who may have the same feelings, open the British society’s minds to the topic and make them realize the topic is not as taboo as our culture makes it out to be.

Issues-Why? So What? Why would people be interested? What’s the point? What do you want to achieve?

I feel the older generation of transgender or transsexual people in the U.K are a minority and rarely heard. I’ve seen numerous interviews and documentaries about the younger generation of transgender and transsexuals but rarely the older people. I also haven’t seen much about it within the U.K. This project could be a chance for those within the U.K to tell their story and maybe help the younger generation who are having similar identity issues. It could be a chance to show that it’s not a mental problem it’s something that can be resolved and shouldn’t be left ignored or repressed. This project would be something relevant, current and something up-to-date for people within the U.K to relate to, to create a sense of union, offer support and find comfort. I hope to reach others who may feel the same as those depicted or challenge people’s views on what a transgender or transsexual person is.

Organization-How? How can I make this happen?

  • Research, read!
  • Find subjects
  • Communicate them regularly
  • Build relationships with them
  • Tell their story
  • Photograph them

The Specific Topic of Investigation

  • Older generation of transgender and transsexuals in the U.K
  • British transgender and transsexuals
  • Their role and place within society (or not)
  • Impacts on their families and personal relationships
  • Psychological aspects
  • Society’s view of transgender and transsexual people-challenge it!
  • Representation of transgender and transsexuals within society
  • Ideas surrounding body image, gender identity and personas
  • Do we all possess a perfect body image in our minds?
  • Is there such a thing as a ‘wrong’ body image?
  • Is this body image really a mental health issue?
  • The transitions transgender and transsexuals have to go through
  • Personal journeys

Key Ideas

  • Older Generation-Is the reason their decision was made later in life due to their background, history and nurture? What is an even more repressed Britain? Why did they feel such pressure to conform? Is it now more accepted? Is this why they decided now as opposed to twenty years earlier? Why now?
  • Body Image-Is there such a thing as a ‘wrong’ body image? Don’t we all possess an ideal body image? What makes those who are transgender any different? Are they just living up to a persona? Should they be labeled as transgender and/or transsexual? Shouldn’t they just be seen as their chosen sex/gender?
  • Psychological aspects-How do they know they’re in the wrong body? When do they realise? How does it impact them and those who are close? What about their wives/husbands and children? Does this also impact their decision or delay in deciding? Should people have the right at a younger age to choose what sex they should be or should it be left till later on-or is it all dependent?
  • Society’s Ideas, Representations and Conforms-Does society see transgender as a ‘wrong’ body image? Can a body image be wrong? Who can dictate what is wrong? Will transgender and transsexuals always be on the outskirts of regular society? Is there much support? Are sex changes seen as acts of madness or is it respected?

Further points and process:

What is affecting the/my world?

How body image is being portrayed and taught within society. How transgender and transsexuals are being represented. How media/culture/history impact and control all of this.

What is being ignored?

The older ‘regular’ generation of people in Britain who are classed transgender and transsexual.

What is it not about?

Ethics, morals and values…I hope to avoid all these things! I don’t want to explore whether being transgender or transsexual is right, rather hear about their stories, the transitions and ideas around body image. Questions like, ‘is it right to choose your body image?’ is a no go because of course the answer is ‘Uh-yeah!’  Also, I want to document people who are well normal with regular jobs and lifestyles. This will offer a true to life insight to being British, in the U.K and transgender/transsexual! Pretty lady boys working as bar tenders and entertainers in Thailand is a no.

What can I get access to? What can I answer with my resources?

  • Contact and gather information and stories from real people through friends, family members, social networks, groups, blogs, email, twitter and Facebook.
  • Use images/family photographs of subjects, which are not images I took.
  • Contact other creatives who are covering similar topics and issues.
  • Gather books, journals, archives from the Library on the topic of transgender/transsexuals in the U.K and ideas on body image.


Answer I’m not sure as I need to find a question ^ but these resources will definitely offer more insight into the topic and British people who are transgender and transsexual through intimate and true accounts/interviews/images.


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