Here's something you might not have known about our very own Laurence Philomène: Laurence identifies as non-binary. Don't know what that means? We don't blame you—it's almost impossible to find media representation of non-binary people, i.e. people who identify as neither male nor female. That lack of representation hurts everyone, not just openly non-binary people: while non-representation might alienate people who identify as non-binary, it deprives gender-questioning people of the opportunity to define themselves as non-binary in the first place—and it robs binary men and women of the ability to recognize and empathize with people who identify differently than they do.
So Laurence decided to do something about it. For the last few months, Laurence produced and shot Non-Binary Portraits, a series of photographs dedicated to depicting non-binary people the way they want to be seen. Non-Binary Portraits showcases the vast diversity of identities and presentations that exist within the category of non-binary personhood: non-binary people exist across all races, ages, and hair colors; they can be as feminine or masculine as they please; they can go by he, she, they, or some other pronoun entirely; and--at least as far as Laurence's models are concerned--they probably dress better than you.
Most importantly for Laurence, though, Non-Binary Portraits gives its subjects an opportunity to be seen as their ideal selves. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what everyone wants?
Check out our Non-Binary Portraits behind-the-scenes video to learn more about the photo series and Laurence’s artistic intent.