Coming Out of the Darkroom: My Gay Pride Photos
Stepping Into the Light
OK, I actually have nobody to celebrate with so I figured I'd do a super quick hub where I talk about my favorite recent Gay (read: pansexual) Pride photos I've done, Because, you know, the legalization of gay marriage in all fifty states is a pretty big deal, so a shout out to the US Supreme Court, President Obama, and the seventy percent of this country who back up our right to be married.
I also haven't done a photo hub in ages, so why not show off some of my work, right? As always all photography is my own personal work, so if you borrow for Internet use, please give credit where credit is due and a link back.
All other media is used with the intent to educate and inform. If you hold the copyright and want link and credit or you wish to have something removed, please contact me.
June 28 (Full Color)
I still haven't totally processed the news yet. And I know that in a very real way this ruling won't change the challenges I face in day to day life, but I wanted to do something to celebrate. So I drug out the camera and tripod, this small flag and my beloved heart necklace.
I did quite a few snaps and decided that I like this one, even though the wind had picked up and the flag was trying to take flight. I figure it gives a nice bit of symbolism to the piece instead of a static flag.
And the moment when the flag did that was sort of magical and I just had this really good feeling that everything is going to be OK, That this country will move forward and that we, as a people, will learn to love one another and live in peace regardless of color, creed or sexuality.
One of my favorite books and one I return to again and again to brush up on the fundamentals of photography. Filled with real-life examples most of us can pull off at home and do right away.
June 28 (Black and White)
I really upped the contrast on this one to get the deeper colors I was after. I am so very happy today, but there is still a lot to be angry about too. I could never tell my own parents what I am. I was taught in church and in school that it was a shame and wrong. That I'm a filthy abomination damned to hell. And I tried so hard to be straight, I tried to pray the gay away, tried dating straight guys in the hope I could fix myself. So I have always lived a lie and passed myself off as straight, and I'll likely continue to do so.
Because I'd like to be able to do crazy things, like ride the bus, buy groceries or hold down a job. And I live in a rampantly homophobic area. So it is both joyful and angry because the silence feels like prison. I feel trapped in this lie I have to live, just to be able to be treated like everyone else. So the bars of the flag become the bars of my prison of the prison suit I metaphorically wear.
Back to the joy part, it is mostly happy, it is. I at last have the love of the country I would die for. Well, from most of it at any rate. And it is a day to celebrate now and forever. This country that I love, this country I would die for loves me back at long last.
I did this one on the day gay marriage was legalized in Ireland to show my support, never thinking the same rights would pass in this country. The concept is simple. I wanted to use the necklace which has deep personal meaning to me as a gay person, and the symbol of strength, the rock as a symbol of a strong foundation for the future.
The three leaf clover has been a symbol in various religions stretching back ages in Ireland and I figured that the starkness of the photo recalled some of my favorite black and white photography from the eras of not only the great waves of Irish Migration, but work I've loved and admired from Ireland itself.
Buzzfeed got it right
Locket (Full Color Edit)
I did this on the same day as several other shots to celebrate the legalization of gay marriage in Ireland. It meant a lot to me that the freedom came somewhere at last. I was thinking more of lesbian couples for whatever reason, hence the heart being made out of a softer material like leaves.
I could think only of the happiness these women will have and all the beautiful marriages and decades of happiness awaiting many young couples. Sure, there will be times of trouble as there are for any couple, but may they know more joy than sorrow.
Have you shot with pride?
It doesn't have to be gay pride, but have you ever shot to express your feelings on something you feel passionate about?
Locket (Black and White)
I wanted a slightly different and more mature feel to this one so I did a black and white edit and I'm truly pleased with how it came out. This one was for those of us who may feel a tad too old to even consider marriage now, but we can still rejoice with the young ones as they start a new life together.
And the leaves shelter the old heart from the hard ground beneath, a path countless people from all walks of life have passed over, just as countless people pass through this life and know both its joy and its sorrows. It can belong to anyone and everyone, but for me it has deep personal meaning.
For a mood shift and a slightly more masculine feel I did this in black and white on pavement and entitled it Victory. It was shot the same day as the other celebration photos of the legalization of gay marriage in Ireland and I really enjoy the starker look to it.
I wanted the viewer to recognize that we can be tender and delicate like the clover leaf, yet we are strong like the metal locket and the good earth beneath it. We've entered a new age and we will no longer be pushed back into the shadows, but we will step forward to shine in the light.
Bloom was part of a series of different color edits I did for my recent article on pansexual myths. I wanted them in a rainbow of colors, not only to celebrate and assert the fact that I'm gayer than a spring morning, but to show that we are all the same, regardless of sexuality, color or creed. It is the same flower in every shot, regardless of color, and hopefully my readers noticed that.
I believe in the equal rights and dignity of all human beings. I don't care where you are from, what your religion or lack thereof is, or the color of your skin. You deserve to be celebrated, loved and supported, we all do.
I wanted to leave my readers on a positive note, so I made Pop on the spur of the moment to give them a bright and rather silly photo to look at. It is the inverse of the above photo and I figured that would send a good message out to my readers. We really are all the same, no matter how different we may seem.
I shot all the photographs on this Hub with my trusty Kodak. A wonderful camera that you can kit out with flashes and more that opens up an endless wealth of photographic possibilities for those of us who want an all in one camera.
I'd love to hear your thoughts
Please note that although I respect your right to your views I also respect my own right to not tolerate negative feedback in the form of hateful and negative comments about my sexuality or photography. I did not force you to come here or to stay.
But I do love hearing from my visitors and feedback, especially positive feedback encourages me to keep going. I want to leave you with a video that celebrates that it isn't all bad, in our struggles there are people who support us, and heck yes, some of them are straight and pround to stand with us.
I also want readers to keep in mind that although this is a day to celebrate and a huge step forward, there is still a lot of work to do. I'd like to be able to work, live and thrive without having to hide what I am and for that to happen more change must come.
Whenever one person judges another person regardless of the reason and denies them service, the right to work or even to ride a bus or shop in a store, we all suffer. This isn't just about gay rights, but human rights. The right of every human on this planet to be treated with dignity. We all deserved to be loved and cherished for who we are and may the day come when it is so.