I guess this is better late than never. I did this last year, and I’m doing it this year as well. I had this more or less written out when I was in Belgium, but I was unsure if I should post it. I’ve decided to just go ahead with it, so bear with me while I allow myself to get a little bit sentimental.
This summer someone asked me a very good question. They asked me why, as a straight woman, I was doing the job of taking photos of gay men. I have to admit I didn’t know how to answer that right away. I had to do some thinking on this. So why do I do this?
It’s not an easy question, and it is by no means an easy answer. The answer came to me partly as I was transferring photos from camera to computer. When some of the photos had me giggling in remembrance, I had some of my answer.
I do it for the boys. I do it to see their happy faces, their silly faces, and their thoughtful faces. It made me happy that I had been there to capture these moments. The days of the events are over now, but I will always have these moments captured to remind us of what was.
Every time I photograph an MGE or MGW event, where I get to spend days on end with amazing people, saying goodbye to those people is always the hardest part. Which is why I try to sneak away without being noticed, of course, some of you won’t let me get away that easily. Believe me when I say I left a little piece of my heart with you when I went home.
I admire each and every one of you for being brave and standing up in front of the whole world and say “this is who I am” – you truly are the everyday heroes we all need.
Some of you I will not meet again, some of you this is the end of our journey together. Some of you I will get to see again. But at least I get to go home with a suitcase full of memories and thousands of moments to remember you all by.
To all of you I wish you good luck and happiness, and may all your dreams be fulfilled. Thank you for allowing me into your world for a few days.
To anyone I yelled at and anyone who thought me a massive bitch for all my yelling – I am truly sorry. It was never personal. It was about protecting first, and asking questions second. If our paths cross again, I will owe you a coffee. 🙂
Photo: Beate A Tecza / Mr Gay Europe