These beautiful photographs of transgender women in Paris from the late 1950s and early 1960s were taken by Swedish photographer Christer Strömholm, who traveled to the city in the late-fifties in the hope of creating a new kind of night-life street photography. Strömholm lived in the Red Light district around Place Blanche and Pigalle where he made friends with many of the young transgender women who worked the streets and hotels to earn a living.
In 1983, Strömholm collected many of these photographs together for his book Les Amies de Place Blanche, for which he wrote an introduction explaining his interest in photographing these women:
“This is a book about the quest for self-identity, about the right to live, about the right to own and control one’s body.
...These are images of people whose lives I shared and whom I think I understood.