Art Queer News

Portraits of Same-Sex Military Couples: Kickstart Project: 7 Days to Go!

Documenting a community who for the first time in US history can step into the light and be fully seen for who they are.

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Kickstarter is an all or nothing deal, so if the $12,000 target is not reached, this project will not get funded and cannot move forward! No pledge amount is too small, so please pledge whatever you can and encourage everyone you know who supports marriage equality to do the same!

It is the courage of soldiers like Stephen Snyder-Hill, who was booed on national television during a republican debate when he asked whether the candidates would reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, that have inspired me to do this project. The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has given us the opportunity to finally honor the loyal men and women who have bravely served their country for so long, in spite of the discrimination they faced. By documenting same-sex military couples at this historic crossroads, we have the chance to fully acknowledge their humanity, dignity & love for each other and fight the next battle for full marriage equality with them: the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA prevents the military from recognizing same-sex marriage. This means that even if a gay soldier is married, they are not entitled to many of the benefits, support and rights their heterosexual counterparts automatically receive. The irony is that these soldiers are fighting for the very freedoms they themselves cannot enjoy. My art project is part of the fight to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.


I believe that at the very heart of change is connection. When individuals connect, the transformation that takes place within them becomes the groundswell for societal change. Art has the honor and responsibility of creating the possibility for these connections to arise. The couples who have participated in my project have given us the opportunity to connect with them in a very special way; they have welcomed us into their homes, shared with us their most private space, and invited us to see that they are no different from any one of us.

I started shooting the portraits in September of this year and so far I have photographed 9 couples. My goal is to photograph at least 50 couples by July 2013. I am based in the Washington DC area, but I have been contacted by gay military couples from all over the US who are very excited to be part of the project. So far I’ve traveled to New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio. I have volunteers who are ready and waiting to be photographed in Portland Oregon, Kentucky, San Diego, Rhode Island, all throughout the south & mid-west.

This is where I need your support. To enable me to photograph the additional 40+ couples I’m aiming for, I need the funding to get me there. So far I’ve covered all travel and production expenses myself, but that’s not a viable option for the larger scope of this project. The money raised from this Kickstarter project will be used to cover travel expenses and the numerous test prints I’ll need to prefect each piece for exhibition.


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