Trans Rights are Human Rights: A Photo Manipulation

For my DIY photo manipulation, I wanted to shed light on the issue of LGBT dehumanization and how it grew from the roots of female oppression. The iconic image I chose was the Marilyn Monroe ‘Flying Skirt’ image from her film ‘The Seven Year Itch’. Although this photo was taken for a film it was still sexualized by the media. The photo was so sexualized it was what led to her husband ending their marriage. To me, this photo represented how easy it was to sexualize and objectify women, and it made me think about how that same thing happens to the LGBT community. I changed Marilyn Monroe’s face to be the face of a drag queen, Ru Paul. That choice was meant to represent how the LGBT community are often dehumanized similarly to women. The background addresses how LGBT people are still fighting to be seen as valid. I focused on the issue of transgender rights in the background because I noticed how many transgender people deal with sexual assault and are forced into situations where they can’t exist as the gender they identify as. They are seen as lesser by society and are not treated with the same human decency as “real” men or women. I felt that this was the best way to represent that because the response to the original image assumed that Marilyn was not a real person with feelings and she was purely a sexual object for others. This is the same way many people talk about the LGBT community. This is exemplified when a man tells a lesbian woman “You just need some good sex to set you straight” or when you tell a transgender person they are just confused. I hope my photo manipulation effectively shed light on an issue I feel is very serious and needs to be discussed more in modern media.

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