"I used to be a preschool teacher, but I got fired."
“Well, I decided that I wanted to have a socially conscious class. So we learned about apartheid in South Africa. Then we learned about homelessness. Then we made mother’s day cards for Trayvon Martin’s mom. And I think the principal decided that it was too much for three and four year olds, because she told me I wasn’t a ‘good fit.’ But honestly, I was just shining too bright for them. And now she’s going to see me on Humans of New York, and she’ll be sorry!”
Young, Gay, and Black in a Southern Town
In 2012, Preston Gannaway was living in Norfolk, Va., looking for a coming-out story to cover for the Virginian-Pilot, where she was a staff photographer. Gannaway met Tavaris “Teddy Ebony” Edwards, a 21-year-old gay man living in public housing in Chesapeake, Va., who came out when he was 16. Because Edwards represented several demographics rarely covered in the paper—gay, black, poor—Gannaway decided instead to focus on Edwards and his experience living in Virginia.
Gannaway ended up spending a year photographing Edwards while he was studying at Norfolk State University and Tidewater Community College. She documented him while he participated as a Spartan Guard in the Spartan Legion Marching Band at Norfolk State, as well as his involvement in the ballroom scene.
Throughout the project, she was pleasantly surprised not to see too much prejudice surrounding Edwards’ sexuality. “If someone is just keeping his head above water, struggling to keep the lights on and food in the fridge, he’s not going to be worrying about who some other guy is sleeping with,” Gannaway noted about living in a financially struggling community. “Family and community [are] very important. That seems to trump just about everything.”
I feel like a tragic hero in a Shakespeare play.
Tupac Shakur on life and death – another fantastic animated interview by Blank on Blank, who gave us David Foster Wallace on ambition, Janis Joplin on creativity and rejection, Grace Kelly on JFK, Ray Charles on singing true, Maurice Sendak on being a kid, and Kurt Cobain on identity.
things i told the internet, but didn’t tell my mom
35mm film scans
some pictures about my backwards concept of privacy.
i. it’s getting bad again
ii. this week i am struggling with self doubt and the transition from iced coffee to hot coffee
iii. i want to puke and sleep for six days
iv. i still can’t sit on your couch without shaking
v. i need other people to validate that i am important because i can’t do it for myself
vi. no one else has ever told me that i am desirable with the lights on