The September Issues

Lia Haley Clay is a transgender portrait and fashion photographer based in Brooklyn, NY, whose work strives to shift the stories that the media creates surrounding trans experiences. Her photographs—honest, respectful, illuminating—demystifies the portrayal of transgender individuals at a time when they have been pushed to the forefront of our sociocultural consciousness. Clay grew up queer in the American south, and her work rebels against the conservative body standards that she was taught growing up. Clay has exhibited at Milk Studios, Brooklyn’s Photoville, and alongside Nan Goldin and William Wegman at Colette. Her work has been featured in the likes of GQ, i-D, The New York Times, and Glamour; her portrait of Hillary Clinton was featured in Teen Vogue, and her image of a trans woman standing on a beach was highlighted in Aperture magazine, guest edited by Zackary Drucker and Kate Bernstein. At the forefront of Clay’s art practice is the importance of representation—both in front of and behind the camera—not just for highlighting trans individuals, but including their existence in everyday lives. Clay continues to interrogate an industry oversaturated with cisgender perspectives, and chooses projects that push for true diversity and artistic integrity.

self portrait ©LIA CLAY

pioneer artwork by LIA CLAY featured in issue 2