These are just some of the many ways members of the LGBT community identify themselves in a beautiful photo series from San Francisco-based photographer Sarah Deragon.
Deragon’s “The Identity Project” has taken her around the country as she “seeks to explore the labels we choose to identify with when defining our gender and sexuality.” Her portraits show the amazing diversity and vibance of a queer community that for too long has been defined by outsiders.
you make it to the final round on who wants to be a millionaire and the $1,000,000 question is
ok do u finger urself
my dash did a thing :) no screenshot just telling u
Bruce Willis is probably going to keep making action movies because you know what they say about old habits
wow i’m a teenager trying to figure out this horrifying dystopian world with minimal resources and constant terror while frequently fighting just to stay alive you know what i really have time for
a love triangle
Right this minute, there is someone going through chemotherapy shopping at your grocery store, buying popsicles and ice cream to help their sore mouth, and worrying what the cashier is going to think.
There is someone on hemodialysis buying white bread instead of whole wheat, trying to keep their phosphorus levels reasonable between appointments and hoping for the best.
There is a person attending intensive outpatient treatment for their eating disorder who has been challenged by their therapist to buy a Frappuccino.
There are dietitians picking up a dozen different candy bars to eat with their clients, who feel ashamed and guilty about enjoying them.
There is someone who just doesn’t have it in them to cook right now, and this frozen pizza and canned soup will keep them going.
There are people recovering from chronic dieting and semi-starvation who are buying chocolate and chips at their deprived body’s insistence.
All around us are people listening to what their bodies need and attempting to make the best possible choice within a context of overwhelming food pressure. All of their choices are valid, and every single one of these foods is “real.”"
A Boys’ Camp to Redefine Gender
Over the past three years, photographer Lindsay Morris has been documenting a four-day camp for gender nonconforming boys and their parents.
The camp, “You Are You” (the name has been changed to protect the privacy of the children and is also the name of Morris’ series), is for “Parents who don’t have a gender-confirming 3-year-old who wants to wear high heels and prefers to go down the pink aisle in K-Mart and not that nasty dark boys’ aisle,” Morris said with a laugh.
It is also a place for both parents and children to feel protected in an environment that encourages free expression.
“[The kids] don’t have to look over their shoulders, and they can let down their guard. Those are four days when none of that matters, and they are surrounded by family members who support them,” Morris said.
Morris has stated that her photographic goal for the project is “to represent the spirit of these boys as they shine.” Some of the ways in which the kids shine is through the talent and fashion shows at camp that are popular and for which the campers come well-prepared.
“Some practice for the talent show all year, and others create their own gowns with their mothers or friends of the family,” Morris said. “The focus and enthusiasm is really pretty incredible. Also, it can be very emotional for the parents, especially the families who are new to camp and are experiencing this kind of group acceptance for the very first time.”
Although it is unknown if the kids at the camp will eventually identify as gay or transgender—or even if the way gender and sexuality are defined throughout society will evolve—the camp allows the kids to look at themselves in a completely different way.
“They get enough questioning in their daily lives, so it’s a great place for them to express themselves as they feel. … I feel we hear so many of the sad stories and how LGBT kids are disproportionately affected by bullying, depression, and suicide, and it hangs a heavy cloud over them and kind of dooms them from the beginning. I’m saying this is a new story. This is not a tragedy.” The children featured here and in Morris’ project are photographed with the permission of the their parents. Her ultimate goal is to start a foundation that raises money to help underwrite the cost of camp for kids unable to attend.
“I would really love to follow the kids into adulthood and see what kind of relationships they develop,” Morris said. “I want to witness the evolution, knowing from where they started and see how life is going to play out for them—hopefully happily—and I think they’re going to have a better transition into adulthood than the generation proceeding them.”