This series started with black-and-white images in New Orleans on the last day of Mardi Gras 1978: “[W]hen by fluke, I stayed at the same hotel as a group of crossdressers, one of whom became a friend,” writes Allen. “This chance meeting took me into a mostly closeted world of men who need to express their ‘feminine sides. . .’ Realizing early on that I had stumbled upon something potentially liberating and almost completely misunderstood, I set out to ‘de-freakify,’ and to offer a different view.”
The dye-transfer “Transformations” is a portfolio of 11 portraits of crossdressers that were made in the 1980s. The portfolio was produced to coincide with the publication of Transformations: Crossdressers and Those Who Love Them in 1989. In January 1990, the series was exhibited at the Simon Lowinsky Gallery.
The black-and-white photographs were produced during the same era but were never assembled into a similar portfolio.