Images: Jack J Dalby
Safe Haven came out of a necessity to learn about others, and I found that the best way to do that was spending time with people and hearing their stories. This project is a documentary about the Transgender and Non-Binary community within Cornwall. It is comprised of individual portraits that reveal faces, spanning generations, who have to fight daily for their identity. These portraits are the result of intimate conversations with people who opened up to me to share their experiences of trying to exist in a society that has continually denied their existence.
In 2018, this project began forming when I became increasingly aware of how little I knew about Trans/Non-binary identity and community. So, I began searching for people to speak to, and this is where I found the charity Safe Haven. A non-profit charity, run by a couple (Jackie and Paul/Paula), who’ve been providing support to Trans and Non-binary individuals in Cornwall for many years. It was through their monthly meetings that I met incredible people, who took the time to share their life stories with me.
It would be impossible for me to recount the gravity of those stories, the only thing I could say is after each conversation I was left with a profound sense of respect for individuals who’ve had to endure so much to be who they are. Each story was different but these portraits tell a story of identity and are a testament to the individuals who are a reminder that the only person who can tell you what your identity is, is you.
Jack J Dalby