This work ships from Warrington , GB.
Under Malaysian law, Mitch, a transgender man, is considered the gender he was assigned at birth
- female. Given that same sex marriage is not legal in the country, Mitch’s role as father to his family is not legally protected. Furthermore, under state-level Shari’a (Islamic) laws, transgender people face arbitrary arrest, physical and sexual assault, imprisonment, discriminatory denial of healthcare and employment, and other abuses. “In spite of all this we are here, and we have a wonderful family and we are blessed to be surrounded by family and friends who love us and accept us as we are,” says Mitch.
Mitch and his family were photographed by Robin Hammond for Where Love is Illegal, a global campaign sharing the stories of LGBTQI+ people who face discrimination because of who they love or how they identify. Every participant in the project is given the opportunity to collaborate in the making of their photograph so they can present themselves how they want to be seen.
Where Love is Illegal is a Witness Change project. Witness Change believes that societies are shaped by the stories they tell. Marginalized people are often excluded from their own stories or are stigmatized in them. This means that their needs are at risk of not being understood, their rights may be abused, and in many cases, their lives are put at risk. Their invisibility means that those who may have the ability to offer support cannot empathize with them or advocate for changes which would improve their conditions. Witness Change exists to improve life for marginalized groups by amplifying their stories. Their vision is to create inclusive societies with equal rights for all.
Esteemed photographer Robin Hammond (New Zelander, b. 1975) has dedicated his artist practice to documenting global human rights issues and marginalized groups through long-term photographic projects. His photographs have been featured on the covers of Time Magazine and National Geographic, and he has won numerous awards including the World Press Photo prize, six Picture of the Year International Awards, and the W. Eugene Smith Award for Humanistic Photography. He was also named one of ‘100 Leading Global Thinkers’ by Foreign Policy and addressed the United Nations on LGBTQI+ discrimination in 2018. Hammond further encourages social engagement through his company Witness Change, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending human rights violations through visual storytelling.