Loren Cameron

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Loren Rex Cameron
Born (1959-08-28) August 28, 1959 (age 58)
Pasadena, California, U.S.
Occupation Photographer, author, visual artist

Loren Rex Cameron (born August 28, 1959) is an American photographer, author and transsexual activist. His work includes portraiture and self-portraiture which consist of lesbian and transsexual bodies in both clothed and nude form. Cameron's photography captures images of the transsexual body. In an early review of Cameron's work, The Advocate said he was deserving of "high praise not only for compelling quality of his black-and-white images but for their sensitivity as well."[1]


Loren Rex Cameron was born in Pasadena, California on August 28, 1959. He moved to rural Arkansas in 1969 after his mother's death, where he lived as a self-described tomboy on his father's farm. By the age of 16, Cameron identified both sexually and socially as a lesbian and encountered homophobic hostility in the small town where he lived. At this time, Cameron quit school and left his home to travel the country seeking work as a construction laborer and other blue collar employment. In 1979, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he identified socially with the lesbian community until the age of 26, when he confronted his dissatisfaction with the female body with which he was born. Cameron's interest in photography coincided with the beginning of his physical changes as he documented his own physiological transition from female to male at this time. Despite his lack of formal training, beginning in 1993 Cameron studied the rudiments of photography and began to photograph the transsexual community. Since 1994, he has given lectures on his work at universities, educational conferences and art institutes. By 1995, Cameron's photographs had been shown in solo exhibitions in San Francisco, Minneapolis, a Los Angeles.


Cameron's photography and writing was first published by Cleis Press in 1996. Body Alchemy: Transsexual Portraits, documented Cameron's personal experience of transition from female to male, his life as a man, and the everyday lives of transmen he knew. Body Alchemy was received with much positive acclaim and became a double 1996 Lambda Literary Award winner. It remains his most well-known work to date, though he has since published other photographic works.

Cameron's images have been exhibited in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, in Santiago, Chile, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and in Mexico City, Mexico. They have been published in numerous books such as Transgender Warriors (Leslie Feinberg, 1996) and Constructing Masculinity: Discussions in Contemporary Culture (Routledge, 1995), as well as in various magazines.[2][third-party source needed] He has also posed for photographers such as Daniel Nicoletta, Amy Arbus, and Howard Shatz.

Cameron lectures throughout the United States at universities and other venues, including Smith College, Harvard, Cornell, Brown, the University of California at Berkeley, Penn State, and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In May 2008, Cameron presented his work at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. On television, he has been profiled on the Discovery Health Channel's LGBT-themed one-hour special Sex Change: Him to Her, on the National Geographic Channel's "Taboo" Sexual Identity" series. He has also been interviewed in the magazine, The New Yorker.[2][3][third-party source needed] Cameron's photographs document the lives and bodies of both transsexual men and women, providing positive, beautiful images of transgender people. His first published works (Body Alchemy and Man Tool: The Nuts and Bolts of Female-to-Male Surgery) consists largely of self-portraits, FTM body modifications, and portraits of other female to male transsexuals. More recently published work is a diverse and unprecedented representation of both female and male transsexuals, portraits and classical nudes (Body Photographs by Loren Cameron Volume 1 and 2, and Cameron Correspondence 1997-2003, Taller Experimental Cuerpos Pintados 2003).

A current photographic project focuses on the sexuality of gay FTMs.

Awards, honors, and recognitions[edit]



  • Body Alchemy: Transsexual Portraits. 1996, Cleis Press. ISBN 978-1-57344-062-2.
  • Man Tool: The Nuts and Bolts of Female-to-Male Surgery, 2001, Zero eBooks.
  • Photographs by Loren Cameron Volume 1. 2003, Taller Experimental Cuerpos Pintados.
  • Photographs by Loren Cameron Volume 2. 2003, Taller Experimental Cuerpos Pintados.
  • Cameron Correspondence 1997-2001 Volume 3. 2003, Taller Experimental Cuerpos Pintados.

Selected films[edit]

Film and television (a partial list):

  • The BBC Channel 4 - Television documentary segment about photographer with photos 1995.
  • SBTV Brazil - Television news segment profiling artist, with photo usages 1997.
  • Globo TV Brazil - Television news segment about artist with photo usages 1997.
  • TV Japan - Television news segment profiling artist and photographs 1997.
  • You Don’t Know Dick: Courageous Hearts of Transsexual Men - Northern Light Productions (documentary for film and television profiling artist, contracting photographic usages, 1997).
  • 60 Minutes - Television news segment about artist’s exhibition/artist in residency at UC Santa Cruz, CA. 1998.
  • Boys Don’t Cry - Kimberly Peirce (the feature film lists acknowledgment to Body Alchemy in film credits as Loren Cameron, 1999).
  • Sex Files III (Sexual Secrets) - Exploration Production Inc. for Discovery Channel (television documentary profiling Body Alchemy, Man Tool, and image usages, 2002).
  • Sex Change: Him to Her - Beyond Productions Inc. for Discovery Health Channel (television documentary profiling artist in segment, photograph usages, 2005).
  • Boy I Am - Sam Feder Productions (documentary profiling Body Alchemy, and photo usages, 2006).
  • Taboo - "Sexual Identity", Beyond Productions Inc. for National Geographic Channel (documentary profiling artist in segment, including image usages, 2006).


  1. ^ Publishing, Here (November 12, 1996). "Reviews". The Advocate: 79. 
  2. ^ a b Selected Résumé Archived 2007-01-06 at the Wayback Machine., Online Alchemy, January 27, 2007
  3. ^ Presentations Archived 2007-01-06 at the Wayback Machine., Online Alchemy, January 27, 2007


All biographical information is taken from Body Alchemy: Transsexual Portraits and the biography section of Online Alchemy as of November 11, 2008.

Further reading[edit]

Articles about Cameron and reviews of work:

  • Birmingham Institute of Art and Design - Dept. of Arts - Article Press, Birmingham, UK, 2007
  • The Transgender Reader - by Susan Stryker, Ben Singer, et al., Temple University Press, 2007
  • Sexual Metamorphosis: An Anthology of Transsexual Memoirs - Edited by Jonathan Ames, Vintage Press, 2005
  • Athanor XXIII - Florida State University, Dept. of Art History, The Museum of Fine Arts Press, 2005 - Essay by Stefanie Snider.
  • Queer Theory - Edited by Iain Morland and Annabelle Willox, Palgrave, 2004
  • Light in the Darkroom: Photography and the Realization of Loss - by Jay Prosser, University of Minnesota Press, 2004
  • Camera Obscura 56 : Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies - Vol. 19, Number 2, Duke University Press 2004 Article by Melanie Taylor P.h. D. (critical analysis of Romaine Brooks and Loren Cameron’s work, artist’s photographs illustrate)
  • The Transiting Self: The Nude Self-Portraits of Transman Loren Cameron and Hermaphrodyke Del La Grace Volcano - by Tee A. Corinne - College Art Association Conference paper, 2002
  • Gender Issues In Art Therapy - by Susan Hogan, PhD., JKP Press, 2002
  • Exploring the Dimensions of Human Sexuality - by Jerrold Greenberg, Clint Bruess, and Debra Haffner, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2001 and second edition, 2002
  • Bisexual Spaces - by Claire Hemmings, Routledge Publishing, 2002
  • Extremities - Edited by Jason Tougaw and Nancy K. Miller, The University of Illinois Press, 2002
  • The Woman I Was Not Born To Be - by Aleshia Brevard, Temple University Press, 2001
  • Advocate, 2001
  • Frontiers, 1999
  • Second Skins: The Body Narratives of Transsexuality - by Jay Prosser, The Columbia University Press, New York, 1998
  • Bang, 1998
  • Gay Times UK, 1998
  • Circles, 1998
  • Marie Claire (Italy), 1998
  • Domain Matrix: Performing Lesbian at the End of Print Culture - by Sue Ellen Case, Indiana Press, 1997
  • Psychology - First and Second editions, college text by Don/Sandra Hockenbury, Worth Publishers, 1997
  • Hx for Her, 1997
  • Citizen K International, 1997
  • Diva, 1997
  • B-Glad, 1997
  • Next Magazine, 1997
  • Utne Reader, 1996
  • Out, 1996
  • Puckered Up, 1996
  • Out Magazine, 1996
  • Fabula, 1996
  • Gay By The Bay - by Susan Stryker/Jim Van Buskirk, Chronicle Books, 1996
  • Blending Genders: Social Aspects of Cross Dressing and Sex Changing, 1996
  • Transgender Warriors - by Leslie Feinberg, Beacon Press, 1996
  • Constructing Masculinity - Academic Essays, Routledge Publishing, 1995
  • Deneuve, 1994
  • Camerawork: A Journal of Photographic Arts, 1994
  • Girlfriends, 1994/1997
  • The New Yorker, 1991
  • On Our Backs, 1991 and 1995

External links[edit]