New Photo Book Celebrates NYC Transgender Community

Thursday November 19, 2020

(l to r) D. Smith, Amanda Lepore, Sir Knight
(l to r) D. Smith, Amanda Lepore, Sir Knight  (Source:Roger Moenks, 'NuAuthentic')

Photographer Roger Moenks in collaboration with curator Shelly Brown is releasing "The NuAuthentic," a 196-page visual exploration and portrayal of 100 of the most intriguingly beautiful gender-fluid and transgender individuals in New York City. The book sets out to underscore the triumphs, struggles and powerful beauty of its non-conformist subjects who are "free to be" through self-expression, self-acceptance and love. Today's new reality reveals that a full-spectrum of beauty may be found through the freedom to express oneself in non-traditional ways and through a rainbow of colors.

New York City-based photographer Roger Moenks has published other books highlighting inspirational beauty, including "The Class of Click" (featuring Click Agency's most notable models), "Inheriting Beauty" and "I Am Eco-Warrior: Portraits From The Front Lines Of The Sustainability Revolution." This is his first book portraying the transgender community through individual personal expression, creative freedom, and the ability to embrace one's identity and proclaim it with a spectacular boldness.

"Today gender is actually an ever-expanding continuum comprised of authentic warriors who dared to be who they want to be and claim their right to express themselves freely, making them all the more beautiful and intriguing subjects to photograph," says Moenks. "The exciting thing about today's social landscape is that you can't assume anyone is either a 'he' or a 'she,' nor can you presume they are just one of those two possibilities. It's up to them to tell you how they identify, and you just might be surprised by what they say."

"Gender is optional; expression is everything," adds Shelly Brown. "Diversity and differences are to be celebrated and supported. My role as curator for 'The NuAuthentic' was a labor of love since I recently lost my 28-year-old trans sister, who struggled in life and found solace and love in the transgender community, which gave her the freedom and acceptance to reveal her beautiful soul. The book is a testament to those trailblazers who took abuse from their families, schools, communities and stayed true to their individual beauty. We salute you with love, acceptance and respect."

Transgender and genderfluid people have always gravitated toward nightlife, a world of inclusion where one is accepted and applauded for the same qualities that may have gotten them bullied in the high school cafeteria and ostracized in everyday life.


Susanne Bartsch, known as "Queen of the Night" for her iconic club nights, special events and show productions representative of New York City nightlife, graces the cover of "The NuAuthentic." She continues to create an avant-garde club landscape in which people are art and uses their looks to make bold fashion statements and provide the space and freedom for people to express themselves.

Rob Smith, CEO and founder of The Phluid Project, the world's first gender-free retail store and global movement, is also portrayed in the book. Phluid's non-gender clothing is featured throughout the book.

MILA JAM, a model, actress and pop recording "artivist," is also featured, saying, "'The NuAuthentic' is a snapshot in time that commemorates the trans movement as another slice of life to be celebrated. As we find strikingly beautiful differences in plant and animal species, we can also find exquisite differences in how we view humanity."

"The NuAuthentic" will be available on Amazon beginning December 10 and retail for $75. One hundred percent of proceeds from "The NuAuthentic" will be donated to LGBTQ youth programs.

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