We live in a world where we are forced to cram ourselves into boxes, in which we do not easily fit, in order to meet societal expectations and concede to the norm. This is not realistic. I think many of us take our privilege for granted. Whether that be race, class, gender or sexuality. As a cisgender woman, and an ally, I have a platform, and a duty to use it for those who do not.
Each person that took part in this project was different to the next. I photographed introverts and extroverts, people who love to be on stage and others who thrive in the comforts of their art studios. I met dancers, actors, writers, artists and musicians, each of them had something in common: they just want to love and to be loved. There are people in this project who I have known my entire life and others, complete strangers. But, they all trusted me wholeheartedly with their stories and allowed me to create a safe space for them to be unapologetically themselves. For some, this project was a type of therapy: they found that summarising themselves into one short paragraph helped them to understand their truth. Others were being photographed for the first time as their authentic selves and my work has helped them to see themselves in a new light. I could see, photograph by photograph, this project was injecting confidence and pride in who they are.
We cannot imagine what it is like to be in one another’s shoes, but we can support each other by providing a space to speak their truths without fear or judgement from others. This project tells their stories.
Please be aware that this project covers some difficult topics.
Trigger Warning: Homophobia, Domestic Abuse, Suicide, Sexual and Physical Assault.