Pages - Menu

Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly – By JB

As a queer person (and even more so a Trans person) coming out is a very personal affair. However, coming out to people often means that a kind of queer ambassadorship is thrust upon you, whether you like it or not.

To the straight people drunkenly asking how you have sex in the nightclub smoking area, or the confused elderly lady on the bus you inadvertently blurted to, you are now the spokesperson for your entire community. The pressure is on.

Much like a Briton abroad - stuck cringing amongst a rowdy flock of topless, sunburnt, lager filled aggressors, hoping that the poor Spaniards subjected to the unsightly crowd won’t judge all 63.23 million of us - LGBT people come in all shapes, sizes, colours, and levels of agreeability.

It’s unsettling when you meet an LGBT person with disagreeable views and opinions, because you imagine all of the people who have met them and made a judgement about the entire community based on their utterings.

It’s not the job of the LGBT community to be perfect all the time, it’s the job of everybody else to humanise us more, and in doing so – see us as individuals.
When I began taking photos for this project I was going through a period of great personal change and reflection, and I found that as I did this my photos moved away from the scenes of the city and it’s vibrant and diverse queer community, to close ups of myself and my loved ones, pieces of great self-expression and vulnerability.

I felt the pressure release as I abandoned the idea of trying to represent a group of people I couldn’t hope to capture, even with the best camera on earth. I began to represent myself, and did so with much more success. 
While these pieces speak a lot about me and my experiences of being queer - experiences I share in common with many of my friends - not all queer art is ambassadorship, and it should not be treated as such.

Generalisations based on what we say, what we do, and even what we create are not helpful, and can be dehumanising. While art often brings us together on common ground, one thing I am most proud of the queer community for is its ability to celebrate difference. I want people to look at our photos – together and individually – as a cross section of the community. The good, the bad, and the ugly reside here; and we are just like you, in that we are not the same at all.

No comments:

Post a Comment