Out and in Love: A Global Representation of Gay and Lesbian Committed Couples
Seeing ourselves in photographs builds awareness and familiarity. I would travel the globe to make photos of gay and lesbian couples and their families. The portraits would validate these relationships as part of our human family.
I would like to create images that I never saw growing up. Seeing photographs of family cultivates a sense of belonging. Not seeing depictions of gay and lesbian couples and their families causes feelings of isolation, peculiarity, or abnormal existence and reinforces the notion that these relationships are unacceptable.
Images have the power to educate and to help end bias. My hope is to create a traveling exhibit/website that would be shared in schools. On assignment around the world, I would interview and make portraits of loving families that celebrate our differences as well as the values common to all loving relationships. There are gay and lesbian couples of every race and in every culture. A global representation of same-sex couples would serve to affirm an inclusive and expansive vision of family life today.
Since we are the first generation of gay and lesbian couples to choose to live without fear and to be open about our sexual identity, these photos would serve to bear witness. My goals are to express the beauty of love, combined with a cultural awareness of place, and to use these portraits and the stories they tell to create social change. Providing a global perspective of multi-cultural, same-gender loving families would put a face on and give voice to these committed, loving couples. Similar to the classic exhibit “ The Family if Man” this assignment would show our similarities and our differences. To my knowledge there is not a book, exhibit or video like the assignment I am envisioning. Four years ago, I had the opportunity to be one of the main photographers at The Gay Games in Chicago and this put me in touch with gay and lesbian people from all over the world. I would use these contacts and the use of the Internet to connect with interested subjects. I would seek out culturally significant locations in which to photograph these couples. This assignment would share an emerging story of the freedom to love.