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Declaring Your Identity

Leee Black Childers recalled finding himself at the Factory, the Andy Warhol studio that had become a gathering place for artists and musicians. He told Warhol that he aspired to be a photographer; in that case, Warhol told him, he should just call himself one.

“He said, ‘Say you’re a photographer, and you’re a photographer,’ ” Mr. Childers recalled in an online interview. “And he pointed across the Factory to Candy Darling, who was one of the great drag queens, and he said: ‘Look at her. She says she’s a woman. She is.’ So from that moment on, I was a photographer.”