Re-Visioning Family gives a photovoice to transgender community

Travis Quezon
"Re-Visioning Family" opening reception; Friday, Dec. 12 from 2 to 4 p.m.; UH Manoa, Saunders Hall, Gallery 721

Giving a voice to the voiceless is key in an ever-changing society.

One method in accomplishing that goal has been through photovoice.

University of Michigan professor Caroline Wang developed photovoice as a process by which people can identify, represent, and enhance their community through a specific photographic technique. Photovoice has been used in the past for research, education, social change, and creating effective public policy.

Beginning Dec. 12, a photovoice installation titled "Re-Visioning Family" gives a voice to transgenders and their families in Hawai'i in a project presented by the University of Hawai'i at Manoa's Women's Studies Program.

The installation will display 40 photographs taken by 16 study participants as part of a follow-up to the 2008 dissertation study by L.L. Ikeda-Vogel, from the School of Social Welfare.

All 16 participants self-identified as transgender or male-to-female and as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.

Participating in photovoice offers personal value for the photographers as well, enabling them to "see" themselves, their lives, and their communities from new perspectives.

Viewers of the photovoice images gain the possibility of perceiving the world from the viewpoint of the people who lead lives that are different from those traditionally in control of the means for imaging the world.

See through the eyes of these visionary families and hear what their voices have to say.

"Re-Visioning Family" opening reception on Friday, Dec. 12 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.; UH Manoa, Saunders Hall, Gallery 721; for more information, call (808) 956-7464 or visit