Loren Cameron, 63, Dies; His Camera Brought Transgender Men to Light

Lauren Rex Cameron was born on March 13, 1959 in Pasadena, California. His mother Barbara (Chambers) Cameron was his manager at the Sears office. After her death in 1968, he moved to Dover, Arkansas to live with his father Robert, a nuclear engineer and nuclear power plant manager.

Robert Cameron had a farm and raised horses, and Lauren built fences with him and looked after the horses. As he wrote in “Body Alchemy,” he was bold and adventurous in his teenage years, enjoying his drag races and rafting on swollen rivers. He wore overalls and work boots and learned to curse like a truck driver.

He was so uncomfortable with women’s bodies that when he was 12, he wrote down information about his gender reassignment. When his friend suggested he might be a lesbian, he wondered, “Why?” However, his classmates began treating him as an outcast and he quit school and ran away from home, traveling around the countryside by bus. He found work picking fruit and cleaning construction sites.

He ran a truck stop fuel station and joined the Youth Conservation Corps crew. There he met a group of lesbians who suggested he might find a like-minded community in San Francisco.

He lived as a lesbian for nine years before dealing with discomfort with his gender. He is 26 years old and recently quit marijuana and tobacco. “For the first time in his life he was not paralyzed,” he wrote.

When he began the transition, he took snapshots of the process and sent them to family and friends so they could get used to his new body and see how happy he was. was a crude record of my personal travels, but became an impassioned mission,” he wrote. I started photographing other transgender people and learning their stories.

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