Many trans people avoid looking at childhood photos after a successful transition, as it can be painful to revisit the gender they were assigned at birth. Now, a project from Serviceplan Berlin uses AI to alter those old photos to reflect the person’s true gender identity.
The video below shows how the project was developed, initially with three participants—social media influencer Duke Duong, cabaret artist Alice Dee and model and TV personality Lucy Hellenbrecht. They discuss growing up trans and being able, for the first time, to share their childhood photos with the world.
The film rolled oiut on May 17—International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersex Discrimination and Transphobia. It was made on behalf of German NGOs Transklar e.V., Trans-Ident e.V. and Rosa Strippe e.V. The AI software used in the project was Stable Diffusion.
“The goal is not to change the past or correct mistakes,” said Patricia Schüttler of Trans-Ident e.V. “Rather, the goal is to align these images with the person’s true identity—so the outside reflects what is felt inside.”
“You do not often get to work on a project that is so technical but has such an emotional impact,” said Myles Lord, creative managing partner at Serviceplan Berlin. “In the end, we discovered that many trans people could really benefit from this idea by giving back a part of their lives that was always missing. Working with Lucy, Duke and Alice was truly inspiring—their intimate and personal testimonies give us essential insights into what it means to grow up trans and how society can be more understanding and supportive of the trans community.”