As “Transparent,” the breakthrough Amazon series about a Los Angeles family that discovers the patriarch is transgender, was racking up Emmys at Sunday night’s awards show, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders was putting the finishing touches on his photo series, “The Trans List.”
The portraits are part of a larger body of work that includes “The Black List,” “The Latino List,” “The Out List” and “The Women’s List.” The entire oeuvre will be presented for the first time together as “Identity: The List Portraits,” an exhibition of 151 large-format images bowing Saturday at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles.
“The Trans List,” a documentary by Greenfield-Sanders, will air on HBO in December.
The answer to the obvious question about “The Trans List,” is yes, Caitlyn Jenner participated, along with model Andreja Pejic, Dr. Renee Richards and Justin Vivian Bond, formerly known as Kiki Durane and half of the stage duo Kiki and Herb.
This isn’t the first time that Greenfield-Sanders has been in sync with a national moment. When he was working on the first series, “The Black List,” Barack Obama had become the first African-American to be nominated by a major political party and was on his way to being elected president.
The common thread running through all of Greenfield-Sanders’ series is their focus on marginalized communities. The back stories of the subjects include periods of struggle and, ultimately, accomplishment.
He tries to line up a cross-section of subjects for each project. “The Latino List” featured John Leguizamo, Eva Longoria, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Gloria Estefan. “The Out List” included Ellen DeGeneres, Larry Kramer, Suze Orman, Cynthia Nixon and Christine Quinn, and “The Women’s List” featured Betsey Johnson, Madeleine Albright, Alicia Keys and Toni Morrison.
Leon Wu, a subject of “The Trans List,” owns Sharpe Suiting, which uses Andropometrics, a trademarked formula for measuring body types to create a more masculine or feminine silhouette.
“I’ve always wanted to wear my father’s clothes,” he said. “I never identified with women’s wear. As a drag performer when I was age 21, I developed a skill for styling masculinity.”
Wu said “The Trans List” is a step in the direction of wider acceptance for the community. “The best way for us to love and accept each other is for [individuals] to share their stories so you can accept and understand the person as a human being.”