Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Man In The Arena

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, March 18, 2013

Project Update & Some Thoughts

Yesterday, I finally sat down and made my itinerary to travel to the Rockies, the Midwest and the Northern East coast for the project. This morning, I feel a million times lighter. Not that I don't have more planning to do, fundraising as well, but at least this part of it is done. It's been weighing heavily on my mind. I also made plans to travel to Texas and Louisiana. I still need to make plans to travel to North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico. I'm also quickly discovering that it's going to take quite a bit more money to do it all. I'll have to work on that or find other ways to get photos of those whom I can't get to.

I am so lucky to have the support of my partner through all of this. I spend the majority of my time, away from work, working on this project. Last night she sat down at the table where I was working and said, “Do you know how much I love you?” I asked her if all of my time spent working on the project was driving her crazy. She said no. She loved me even more for working on the project because it makes me happy. She can see what it does to me. The project truly is a labor of love for me. It came from and continues to come from my heart.

The support I've gotten for the project has been mind blowing to me. Messages like this one represent the “mind blowing” I'm talking about:

“Your project moved me to tears. I wanted to say thank you for doing something like this- something to capture what is so rarely seen. As a sociologist, my own background has been LGBT (and all other acronyms) focused - primarily on self-esteem, perceived social acceptance, and coming out. As a lesbian, my research has been intended to highlight the importance of coming out and acceptance. Your photographs are worth more than my thousands of words.”

I can't even begin to find the words to express exactly how much stuff like this means to me. See? Mind. Blowing.

It's affecting people in ways I hadn't even thought about. Good ways. Ways that help others and that's the goal of this project. To help others see that they are not alone in this world. To put faces to the words and identities and to show that there are an endless amount of identities in the world and in our community.

Yes, bottom line is that we are all human, but we're not all the same. We are all unique individuals with our own expressions, identities and ways of being in the world. Let's celebrate everyone! Let's celebrate the fact that you can choose to not be “put in a box with a label” or you can choose to be put in as many boxes as you want with as many labels as you want.

I look forward to a world where everyone is equal but I also look forward to a world where everyone is celebrated. A world where we can all truly be free to be exactly who we are.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Time Flies!

Suddenly I looked up and it was almost a month since I last posted! What the heck?!

I am due a catch up post and I will get one up in the next couple of days. Since the Kickstarter funded for the project I have been either working at my day job or doing lots of planning for the project. I have 7 shoots to edit for the project still! That only happens when life gets out of control for me. So, soon. I need to sit down and document all of this. Very soon.

Hope all is well in your world!