St. Louis, United StatesPhotography bySara Swaty. Reporting byMaria Caspani.
For Harrison Massie, transitioning from female to male was never about trading one gender for another.
Seven years ago, Harrison, now 29, started his journey "to feel more like myself."
Left: Harrison, 22, poses for a photograph in the shower at his mother's apartment. Right: Harrison, 22, poses with Heaven. "Heaven and I had a very brief relationship, which was always more of a friendship, we went through some very hard times together."
"I’m not embarrassed to say that I was ever a woman," said Harrison, who lives in St. Louis, Missouri. "Ultimately it’s a part of who I am and how I was raised, and I love having the perspective of both genders."
But Harrison said he longed to feel more comfortable in his own body and wanted to have certain masculine features such as a flat chest.
Left: Harrison, aged 22. "At my private school, I was the 'pretty girl' who 'fell in with the wrong crowd.'" Right: Harrison, 22, poses for a photograph in 2012.
"I always approached photo shoots with clear concepts and ideas of what I wanted the images to look like," she said. "But with Harrison, I was ... following his lead, and did my best to capture him as he felt, not as how I saw him."
Rejection from family and relatives is common for many trans people, but that was not the case for Harrison who always had the support of his loved ones.
Left: Harrison, 25, poses on his car. "Growing up in Saint Louis shaped me as a human... It's truly my home." Right: Harrison, 25, poses for a photograph at his home in 2015.
With time though, she realised that he was still the same person and their relationship never wavered. "He’s still the baby, still the light of the room."
"I knew this was what he wanted to do and I knew it would make him so much happier, and it has so much," said Harrison’s oldest sister Jasa. "I am very proud of him, and the man he has become."
Left: George gives a testosterone shot to 22-year-old Harrison. "George and I have been friends now for 12 years, I've never felt exposed in front of him… we're chosen family and always have been." Right: Harrison, 21, poses for a photograph while looking out the window in 2011.
As Harrison started his hormone therapy, the group met for the first months of injections, in celebration and to help him get comfortable with the process.
"Spending time with such a beautiful group of people and feeling the love they share with each other is incredibly uplifting," said Swaty.