Connie Rice: Behind the Lens

As a community journalist, the most important thing I can do is to give a voice to those who don’t otherwise have one. My neighbors, people I see every day.

For decades I covered national politics for large publications, but I never felt like my images were providing these public figures a meaningful voice, with so many publications focused on them 24-7. It wasn’t until I returned to Loudoun two years ago that I realized that community reporting was my calling.

In our small community, I’m held accountable. I know the person I photograph today will be in my ear if I don’t do a good job. And, what’s more, my work can make an impact. I feel responsible to local readers to shine a light on the stories and the people who are being overlooked, no matter how difficult.

This year’s news cycle has been hyper-focused on transgender issues at a time when beliefs about gender and gender equality are rapidly changing. So when I met a local transgender woman who was emerging as a national advocate for LGBT rights, I knew there was more to her story that needed to be told.

I spent a year documenting Connie Rice, with the intention of lifting the curtain on what it’s like and what it means to live as a transgender person. Here, my lens takes a profound, behind-the-scenes look at her personal and public life. The project is meant to illustrate the normal lifecycles and the hurdles faced in her everyday life as a transgender woman.

Douglas Graham

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