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Wendi Cooper

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Wendi Cooper

I'm a transgender woman from the city of New Orleans. In 1999, I was charged with a crime that is very discriminatory against LGBT people in Louisiana… called the crime against nature statute… New Orleans Police Department had transgender women on the list of extinction, and they was utilizing this law to get rid of trans women and the LGBTQ people itself.


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a Powerful Force

I was excited to work with Wendi on this project. I had met her briefly making photographs for Operation Restoration where she is Programs Coordinator.

I listened to Wendi’s interview and then spoke with her in person about making the artwork. She spoke about being a slave to the State of Louisiana because of the Crimes Against Nature law and how she would like to use the metaphor of slavery in America. She spoke specifically of shackles and on several occasions, spoke about art that is raw, making an impact, work that represents horrific events.

I also wanted to show Wendi as the powerful force she is. During the photo shoot, she talked about being at a place in her life and at an age where she is ready to fight.

I am looking forward to continuing to be engaged with Wendi by providing photographs of her events as she continues her work. She was a key figure in lawsuit that removed 700 women from the sex offender registry and now, she is tackling getting the Crime Against Nature by Solicitation laws completely repealed.

- Tammy Mercure

Wendi, 2018, lightjet prints