Through the Aperture: Alessandro's Quest for Authenticity

by Guillermo Seis

In a world that often sees in black and white, Alessandro’s life unfolds in vibrant color. In this interview, I had the pleasure of meeting Ale, a non-binary fashion photographer, whose journey is one of light and shadows. Dominican by heritage, born and raised in Milan, and now flourishing in Vienna’s creative scene, Ale chats about transformation and transcendence. A journey that weaves through the intersections of race, class, and gender, challenging norms and celebrating the beauty of diversity.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Alessandro, I am a 25-year-old fashion photographer with Dominican heritage but raised in Milan. Over the past year and a half, I've been immersing myself in Vienna's fashion and creative scene.

I’m not the type of person to stick to just one thing. I love diving into different hobbies and activities—I'm always reading, sometimes writing, and you might even catch me knitting or doing yoga. I'm a starter of many projects, even if I don't always finish them, and I'm totally okay with that.

I try to cultivate a good number of friendships. Whether it's hanging out with them or making new connections, I thrive on sharing experiences and making memories together. While I enjoy my alone time, nothing beats the joy of connecting with others.

What does sexuality mean to you, and how has your understanding of it evolved over time?
For me, sexuality is just one part of who I am, not the whole story. It's important, sure, but it doesn't define me entirely. Sometimes, it feels like people focus on that one aspect of us, but there's so much more to who we are. As I've grown and learned more about myself, I've realized that while my sexuality is a big part of me, it's not the only thing that matters.
To what extent do you think your identity and sexuality as a non-binary individual has influenced your artistic expression and the themes you choose to capture through your lens?
Certainly, my essence seeps into my work. When I choose to feature non-binary/trans individuals or members of BIPOC communities, it’s a conscious celebration of our collective splendor. It’s an affirmation of the beauty inherent in our diversity. I do this not just as an act of representation, but as a belief in the untold stories and unexplored facets of our identities. There’s a universe of narratives within us, waiting to be unveiled, and through my lens, I try to bring those tales to light, to honor the full spectrum of who we are.
How do you express your sexual desires and preferences, and what factors influence them (e.g., gender, attraction, kink, trauma, etc.)?
What I like now and my preferences are definitely very different from the ones I had 5 years ago for example. Over time I let go of many superstructures and expectations that others might have had of me, and which in reality did not belong to me. As long as there is respect and consent, sexuality is a field of play and exploration. There are no established timelines, obligatory steps or truths that apply to everyone. I believe this is the most important lesson that helped me deal with trauma and feel better about my body.
How do you navigate the intersectionality of your sexual identity with other aspects of your identity, such as race, class, ability, or religion?
Being a LatinX, brown, non-binary person from a humble background makes navigating social circles tricky. I'm careful about who I hang out with, making sure discrimination isn't part of the deal. But let's face it, it's tough out there. Different places see things differently; some get it, others don't. My own experiences show how people see things in all sorts of ways. I've dealt with gay guys who see me as just a racial thing, and straight and bi guys who only see my appearance. Dealing with all that taught me to ignore the 'male gaze' and not waste time arguing with those who don't get their privilege. I choose to save my energy for things that matter and remind myself that I'm worth more than narrow-minded opinions.




What challenges have you faced in expressing your sexual desires and needs, and how have you overcome them?
I have always tried to put myself first and listen to my needs. The stereotypical gay culture of casual sex, for example, was never a place I frequented much or where I could feel safe. Now, I am in a long-term relationship with my partner and with them I have the opportunity to experience whatever I want. I realize firstly that perhaps I have denied myself some opportunities, but on the other hand also and above all how much the person in front of you and being able to communicate your desires really matter.
How do you envision a more inclusive and fulfilling sexual culture that embraces diverse sexual identities and expressions, and how can we work towards it?
The struggle against biases and stereotypes remains crucial, as does the need for informative dialogues and safe spaces. It’s heartening to witness the younger generation confidently exploring their sexuality and gender expression. Yet, it’s imperative for all of us, queer and trans individuals, to hold onto the belief that we can redefine our relationships, our understanding of family, and our experiences of joy. Experiencing and creating Trans, Queer, or Black joy is possible. We must embrace the notion that our bodies are treasures, and that a world of possibilities awaits us, ripe with new narratives and affirmations of our worth.