On Queer Community and Resilience during the Pandemic, 2020
The idea for these portraits came mid-May, two months into lockdown. I was deeply missing in-person queer community, making work, and feeling unmoored by uncertainty. I wanted a way to see my queer friends who I usually see on the dance floor and at artist dinners, to check-in and connect in person. I was curious, too, how people were rethinking their relationship to Pride as it was approaching amid the pandemic. When the renewed protests for Black Lives broke out in response to continued police brutality, I put taking the portraits on hold while learning, participating and organizing with others. In July, I started making them again as a way to have one-on-one catch-ups after months apart, and to document and mark the moment. To keep social distance while we were still learning about COVID, I biked with my equipment to friends in nearby Brooklyn, and photographed them on side-streets, on roofs, and in backyards, fully embracing the summer sun.
I'm always inspired by how our queer communities connect to resilience throughout periods hardship and change. To accompany these portraits, I asked each friend to share a short reflection on a way they’ve been connecting to queer resilience and community in relationship to the pandemic, to the Movement for Black Lives, and to systemic inequity overall.