Sara Swaty - In-Between & Outside

"The idea of gender and its associated roles, responsibilities, and expectations has fascinated me for years. Mainstream culture and society impact how we as a people view gender.  Where we live and how we are raised dictates our own perceptions of gender, and what is ‘normal’ or ’weird’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’

In Between & Outside began as a project focused on gender expression, which led me to photograph people within both straight and LGBT communities in an effort to capture images that question traditional gender roles and explore alternative identities beyond the rigid male-female binary.  Over time, I realized that this project was more than documenting individuals’ pursuit for their ideal visions of masculinity, femininity, or somwehere in between—it became a place to explore identity, self-conception, and how these roles are altered within societal and cultural contexts.

In Between & Outside explores gender identity and the physical body across a broad spectrum of individuals, whether they be gay, straight, transgender, or anywhere in between and outside, by referencing how cultural preconceptions about gender have created unattainable ideals about masculinity and femininity. "

What does it mean to be masculine or feminine? To be a man or a woman?