OpinionOpinion | I Want the World to See Us...

Opinion | I Want the World to See Us Kissing

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I used to be raised in New York Metropolis, so I didn’t totally respect the privilege I had of rising up seeing queer love on show in public. However after I was in highschool, I moved to Atlanta. I’ll always remember seeing two Black boys kissing, then being ridiculed and verbally assaulted with slurs.

Ever since, I’ve wished to point out how L.G.B.T.Q. individuals of coloration share their affection for each other; I need the world to see them — to see us! — kissing and holding palms, whether or not in New York Metropolis or a small city. Displaying our emotions and our want needs to be thought of not simply regular, however stunning, too.

Final week, a gunman attacked Membership Q, a queer nightclub in Colorado Springs. 5 individuals had been killed; a minimum of 18 had been injured. It wasn’t the primary taking pictures assault on a queer membership, and I concern it received’t be the final, although I hope that it’s. These tragedies present that being L.G.B.T.Q. in America can nonetheless be lethal. Nevertheless it shouldn’t be hidden; we shouldn’t reside in concern.

I began making these pictures final December to make that time. I wished to seize individuals in our group sharing intimate moments. Whereas I used to be making these pictures, my topics and I’d typically obtain homophobic remarks. That simply jogged my memory how crucial these images are.

These pictures are additionally for queer individuals of coloration, too. It’s not nearly normalizing our love for individuals exterior our group; it’s additionally about normalizing it for ourselves, turning into extra assured and cherishing each other shamelessly. Witnessing the backlash towards that younger couple in my highschool stored me from permitting myself to completely specific my sexuality. Once I listened to the tales of the individuals in these images, my confidence grew in not being ashamed of exhibiting affection in public. I hope these pictures can have the identical impact on different individuals.

Kadar R. Small (@kadarsmall) is a photographer and director.

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