From the article in Aperture featuring Katie Booth’s interview with Mariette Pathy Allen:
Mariette Pathy Allen didn’t initially set out to photograph members of the transgender community. As she remembers it, they found her. In 1978, while visiting New Orleans with her husband, she noticed a group of cross-dressers in the hotel where she was staying. When she approached them with her camera, she instantly connected with one person in particular: a trans woman named Vicky West. Allen describes her meeting with West as an epiphany; their resulting friendship opened the door to a career documenting, with gentle reverence, the lives of gender-nonconforming people around the world, from trans communities in the United States, to, more recently, “spirit mediums” in Burma and Thailand.