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Grounded in his identity and lived experiences as a Black AuDHD man of Trans experience, his practice utilizes his story to build connection, shedding light on the ways Black men have negotiated their identities while trying to imagine grace in contrast to the limited representations of Black men in the mainstream media.

Jah Grey is a self-taught photographic artist specializing in portraiture, focusing primarily on the exploration of Black masculinities. His works, which began in 2014, have been an ongoing study, delving into the nuanced and complex relationship between vulnerability and masculinity. Grounded in his identity and lived experiences as a Black AuDHD man of Trans experience, his practice utilizes his story to build connection, shedding light on the ways Black men have negotiated their identities while trying to imagine grace in contrast to the limited representations of Black men in the mainstream media.


Through his photographs, Jah Grey aspires to envision what joy, grace, and individual self-actualization could be for Black men. Rather than understanding themselves as the victims of others' judgements, he documents Black men who defy the expectations and binary constructions of masculinity imposed upon them. By rebelling against societal constructs placed on Black men's bodies and identities, Jah Grey creates powerful works that resist the ideology of hyper-masculinity and dismantle stereotypical notions that portray Black men as a monolith rather than multi-dimensional. 

Geared towards supporting positive notions of Black masculinities, in both subtle and overt ways, Jah strives to produce counter-narratives that debunk common stereotypes and challenge misogynistic and patriarchal "norms" surrounding masculinities and vulnerability, by planting seeds for healthier identities, fostering belonging. Jah Grey believes in showcasing representation that, not only is expansive but also feels simultaneously familiar. By doing so, he aims to provide counterexamples that reflect grace, humanity, and redemption; affording Black men the flexibility to exist within the intersections of their identities. 

Jah Grey’s photographs have been shown across Canada, the United States, and internationally including in the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Art Gallery of Burlington, the Ford Foundation Gallery, and the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, the LAMBDA LITFEST in Los Angeles, and in Singapore. Additionally, his work has been featured for the National Day of Healing at Ava Duvernay's ARRAY HQ and on the cover of Nigerian author, Arinze Ifeakandu's, God's Children Are Little Broken Things. Most notably, Jah Grey was commissioned for over a month in Lagos Nigeria to put on a solo show -- documenting the lives of Transwomen, Non-Binary folks, and Drag Queens, in total showcasing 13 portraits.  


His works have also been featured in numerous press and publications, most notably: Adidas, Lululemon, Huffington Post, CBC Arts, Now Magazine, and Afropunk NYC. 


Most recently Jah Grey founded the Black Men’s Therapy Fund, a non-profit that provides culturally-responsive services, programs, and support to promote Black mental wellness and address the unique mental health needs of Black men across identities and intersections. Black

Men's Therapy Fund is committed to promoting equity and accountability, fostering joy, creating intentional spaces, and curating inclusive ecosystems of support for Black men and communities.


Artist Statement

The work that I create is situated in the resistance to the ideology of hyper-masculinity, and stereotypical masculinity and rebelling against the constructs others place on our bodies and our identities. My practice is rooted in the utilization of my identity and my story, sculpting the possibilities of fluidity to plant seeds of healthy identities, and creating space for expanded notions of black masculinity. Geared towards supporting positive notions of black masculinity, I strive to produce counter-narratives to common stereotypes, and misogynistic and patriarchal societal norms about masculinity and vulnerability; instead, providing counterexamples that are more fitting and reflect grace, diversity and humanity. 

These problematic ideas assume notions of masculinity (hyper-masculinity) which enforce the idea that men cannot be vulnerable, while overlooking, even punishing men who choose to make their vulnerability visible outside our many stereotypes; This is especially true for black men as the media portrayals of black men reinforce various misconceptions of our identities. 

In my overall practice, my photographs are research, an ongoing study that explores the disconnect between the concepts of vulnerability and masculinity, showcasing the struggle between the idealized norm vs. the desired embodiment through a trans lens. Inspired by shared experiences of vulnerability, my subjects are black men who do not fit, or have a desire to fit the label of hyper-masculinity imposed upon them. My work explores men who crave newer identities that resist problematic notions that confront them in our society on a daily basis. It’s about learning to acknowledge that my hurt, my pain, my frustration, and my sadness can/is allowed to exist within me as well, and when I embody these emotions that I’m aware are heavily systematically stigmatized for black men, it doesn’t make me less human or less masculine. I’m working to create room for transparency because I too, as a black man, a transman struggles with this concept of masculinity. Shaking the stereotypes that black men should and can only be hard and unemotional, I push to showcase the layers and all the complexities and nuances–learning to give grace. 

I feel we often let society control and dictate who we are, where we belong and who we need to be and forget to carve out new spaces in ourselves for change, growth, and evolution. By constantly conforming to the ideals of society, it forces us to forget about ourselves. Denying who we are is to deny a core aspect of our humanity, and being brave enough to learn about ourselves, what works and what doesn’t, and to be your/live in your authentic self is such a critical part of us, such a critical part of black masculinity in order for us to reclaim our humanity, in reclaiming ourselves. We all experience varying levels of alienation, erasure, and self-erasure due to complex systems of oppression, set in place particularly to be critical of the black body. My portraits will encourage us all to live out loud and not feel silenced or shamed around our bodies but feel able to express ourselves in any way we choose, to remind us all of the similarities we share despite our differences. I aim to deconstruct this problematic binary to remind the viewer that confronting their fears about their bodies, it enables us to embrace everything that we are, as individuals and as a community, encouraging the practice and process of self-love.

I believe that black men deserve to be captured for the sake of beauty and for the sake of slowly dismantling the image of toxicity we’ve been fed for too long. We deserve support and care because I truly believe we are worth that investment. I had so few positive role models growing up and I’ve always wished blackness, as a positive attribute was celebrated more. The fear and shame of vulnerability (being hurt, asking for help or wanting to cry) makes us hide and I believe we should recommit to having larger conversations–emotional sharing with each other because it’s an important piece of healthy black masculinity, in hope that someday, not only will the outside world see black men in their full light, we’ll be able to see the light within ourselves.

Past Funders, Clients, Partners and Sponsers

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