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.