Trans Project | Finn | Cedar Rapids Iowa LGBTQ* Friendly Boudoir Photographer


Androgyne Boudoir Session with Finn

Cedar Rapids / Iowa City / Eastern Iowa LGBTQ* Friendly Boudoir Photographer

I am so excited to share my newest Trans Projects with you all! On the day I did this session, I let Finn and Erika split the rental fee for this location and did the two sessions back to back. Both sessions were incredibly unique and beautiful and I’m really excited to show them off!


Finn Sojourner Ira Darling


Q: What do you identify as?



Q: When did you come out?

Fall of 2015


Q: If you feel comfortable, share your coming out story

My coming out story, like many others, is not a happy story which is why I rarely tell it. I was accused of being a “transtrender” and “special snowflake” because a large portion of my then-friend group were part of the LGBT+ community and decided amongst themselves that I was faking or trying to fit in. This idea even followed me to the LGBT Emphasis Women’s and Gender Studies course, where I had class with one of them. It was tough because I was trying to figure out exactly what my deal is, still learning and finding the words to explain myself and even in a classroom where it should have been safe to, I wasn’t allowed to explore my identity due to these “friends”.

My immediate family, barring my older brother, was not accepting, and my two youngest brothers don’t even know. Ninety percent of the people who were a part of my life then don’t know because of my immediate family not wanting them to. They don’t even know I’ve had a name change. I haven’t physically spoken to any of those people in over 2 years, including grandparents, church friends, or even my past teachers because my youngest brothers are still in that school district.

While I consider myself out, I am still the skeleton in many people’s closets.

I have learned more about other humans than I have about myself since I came out, all valuable knowledge, and have since found a handful of folks who I consider to be my family AND friends. It’s been 4 years since that fateful fall and I am still far happier now than before!


Q: When/What if anything made you realize you were trans/outside the typical gender binary?


It’s difficult to describe my “aha!” moment. I’d been living on the cusp of that moment for a few years already— my high school friends used to joke that I was “basically a gay guy” because of how “into guys” I was. Don’t get me wrong, I was and am, but I really just wanted to be one of the guys. Like actually one. Even when I was a young, androgynous kid, I was treated like one of the guys and in my heart of hearts I knew that’s the way it ought to be. But I also cannot deny the utter joy and thrill I would feel from using makeup and wearing a baller pair of heels once I got through that bullshit they call puberty. I thought at first that I must be a guy, I mean that was the only explanation I could find, but being completely that way didn’t feel right or good either. It was miserable, frankly. So I stopped trying to fit the binary’s bills and just started breathing instead and came to realize that I am in between if anything at all and that’s exactly where I should be.


Q: What are some micro aggressions that make you feel unsafe?

  • People looking at my ID to determine my gender/sex, And then still asking, “So are you a...? Or...?”

  • People who watch me go to the bathroom to see which one I choose, or even following me to the bathroom. Yikes.

  • “What surgeries are you getting/have you had?”


Q: What are some of the most hurtful questions to ask? How can I be a better ally/friend?

“What are your ‘preferred’ pronouns?”

“What’s your real name?”


Q: What is the biggest misconception you want to dispel?

You don’t have to hate yourself in order to be trans.


Q: What's been the hardest part of your transition so far?

Body image struggles. There are days where I feel like I can’t even leave my house because of my body.


Q: What is the best experience you've had since coming out?

I’ve started attending conventions and each one I go to, I am always referred to as “they” without even having to ask! It’s such a breath of fresh air.


Q: What do you personally define as transitioned?

A transition is complete when you’re at peace with yourself. For some people, that’s a change in pronouns. For others it includes a name change, even medical intervention. And for some folks, it means living somewhere else. My transition will be complete when I have concluded medical intervention and relocated to an area where no one has preconceptions about me and I can just breathe and be myself.


Q: Do you have anything that you want to talk about that wasn't asked above? An issue close to your heart? Something you wish people were more informed about?

Y’all, it’s okay to cut yourself a break sometimes. It gets exhausting hating everything about yourself all day everyday. While the person the world sees may not be the person you are, you can still stop and say to yourself, “you know what kid? You’re not doin’ half bad.”

I seriously love this session! This particular skirt has been begging to be worn ever since I ordered it on Black Friday and I knew this space would be perfect for twirling in it!

Are you interested in participating in The Trans Project? Click here to learn more! Please note that these are not paid sessions therefor I’m doing them in my personal time and not everyone is guaranteed to get chosen. Not hearing back from me does not mean that you weren’t but I will be contacting people as I have time to fit sessions into my schedule.


Check out the rest of Finn’s images! Click and scroll through to view large.

My assistant Kasie got some fun behind the scenes shots from this session. We always have such a blast working together! I’m not the best at telling him what I need but I’m getting the hang of it. Super thankful for the extra hands since we practically brought my entire client closet to this session!

With Love,