ERIKA - First chapter
What does one do with the feeling of being born as the wrong sex?
Do you let the fear of becoming an outcast affect your choices?
Will the judgements of society prevent you from achieving self-realization and happiness in life?
Erika made her choice despite the risk, and has become a person many people would call a "freak". Being straightforward about her gender, through good and bad. And with this choice follows a life filled with joy, doubt, excitement, hope, chaos, love and loneliness.
Norway is a fairly liberal country when it comes to gender issues. Being openly gay or lesbian is a part of the common culture. How ever, this does not seem to be the reality for transsexuals, and their story has not been given a voice until recent years. I wanted to examine and learn about the culture around this subject, and was given the chance when I met Erika in 2008. This project resulted in a book after spending more than a year documenting Erika's life. We became good friends, and still are to this day.
In a situation like this I feel like the camera is my passport into any environment. It let's me experience people and situations which I could never do without. It can take time, but is worth the persistence, just for that one moment when someone open up to you and show their real feelings. Been given this trust, I try to capture the subjects emotions in the pictures, and tell the story truthfully.