generic1:

bremser: John Harding, Leavenworth & Geary, San Francisco, 1995

I saw this prominently displayed at the SFMOMA. Question: Is that or is that not a tranny? I feel like it changes the context of the photo. 

My answer: It’s difficult to determine from the photograph itself (I’ve seen the SFMOMA print and it’s a 35mm frame). And unless the photographer knows or somebody does some serious Leavenworth St. research (perhaps the Tens?), we will never know.

I’d take the Winogrand-ian view that photographs don’t tell stories. The bar behind her may have been out of business at the time (we could probably find this out), but does it change the context of the photograph? It looks how it looks. She looks chilly, in a short dress, in the wind. Is the neon sign on, or does it just look that way, with the sunlight glowing in the glass?