A lover of ladies!
My friend Jena said she had a friend in town working on a photography project called Gayface. I didn’t know exactly what it was, but I love to support the community and especially other artists and have been pleasantly surprised at how it’s unfolded.
It encapsulates my personality perfectly: shy and awkward, but happy.
I was lucky, I to came out to a very open group of family and friends. I didn’t explicitly say “hey, I’m gay,” but there was a girl I hung out with every day, and when I started putting extra effort into my appearance, my family noticed and connected the dots. Having a conversation about labels or identity felt awkward because I really didn’t know what was going on at the time—I just dove into this new gay world. I’m grateful to have had a positive experience and accepting family because I know many others have very serious struggles.
As a female, discrimination is inevitable, whether it’s intentional or not. California is really open, which makes being open easy and comfortable. However, during a recent trip to Morocco, my girlfriend and I avoided physical contact because we feared being mistreated. Any time we take a trip, we have to take that extra step to know the laws around homosexuality, but also what’s generally accepted by society.
Violence against others. People should never be abused because of their identity—it creates fear, inhibits people from living honestly, and perpetuates a hostile environment. I understand that xenophobia comes from confusion, or sometimes disappointment, but it’s not okay to abuse others verbally, mentally, or physically.
Gayface has done an excellent job of showing all types of people within the community. The project has brought together strangers from across the country who may not have much in common aside from being a little different. When the giant posters were put up, it felt like I was waving hello to everyone in the community. I love how each personality is captured by the two photos; the closed eye version is just another person on the street, but the second image allows that person to really be seen—they remind us that people really just want to be happy and accepted as they are.
The best thing you can do is be there for someone else—if you know someone who is going through similar struggles, support each other. Life is easier with a friend by your side and you never have to be alone.