Maxwell Hunter is a 23-year-old transgender digital artist from Leeds, England.
On March 22, he posted a grid of nude portraits of trans guys on his Facebook page. He provided images of each individual portrait to BuzzFeed News.
"I wanted to give visibility to guys who would otherwise wouldn’t have this opportunity," Hunter said. "The guys are all different body types, so other guys could see that wherever they are in their transition, their identities are valid."
Hunter noted that a limited group of trans men are championed by the media. "I've got nothing against these very masculine guys," he said. "I just want to give everybody the chance to tell their story and to talk about their transition."
Hunter created the images by soliciting photographs through various Facebook groups for trans men, then rendered them using a graphics tablet and Photoshop.
According to Hunter: "I was really surprised with the number of people who wanted to do it, and how freely they allowed me to see these images. That was really nice for me, that they felt that comfortable."
"Because I’ve been in these FB groups for a while, I think that helps that people were able to see that I was a genuine trans person myself," he added. "Because I’ve been open about my experiences, I guess that makes them feel more comfortable."
Hunter was pleased with the reaction. "The responses I got were really positive," he saId. "I was nervous about posting on my FB because most of my images are fantasy-related. I was surprised it was up for as long as it was and everyone was supportive."
The grid of portraits was just beginning to get widely shared among trans community members when Hunter posted that they got taken down.
"There’s no direct way to get in touch with Facebook," Hunter said. "I’ve tried to make contact with them but I haven’t heard back."
When BuzzFeed News contacted Facebook on April 7, a representative said that taking down Hunter's post had been a mistake, and immediately restored the image.
"I'm really pleased that they've agreed to putting it back up," Hunter wrote over e-mail when he learned about the new development. "I'm hoping now it will continue to reach people and allow other trans guys to feel comfortable in their bodies."