THE PORTRAIT ARTIST UTILISING PHOTOGRAPHY TO CAPTURE THE MANY FACES OF THE QUEER COMMUNITY
Text By Charlie Long
MAY 13TH 2020
Ciaran Frame is the UK based photographer who merges his love for portrait photography with his passion for people in a project that has allowed him to capture the many faces of the LGBTQA+ community. On this exciting and limitless journey, Ciaran has met numerous queer people from all walks of life and used his camera in an attempt to catch the essence of each persons individual story through simplistic portrait imagery. He entitled the 5 year-long (and counting) project - 'Queer Acts of Resistance'.
“Queer Acts of Resistance is a photography project I set myself out to achieve in order to begin to join the dots between the unique experiences within the queer community. For quite a few years I had wondered how I could use my voice, share space and give others their voice through my platform and ultimately privilege. It’s literally taken 5 years. Portrait photography is a means of crating a bridge of empathy. When we see someone looking back at us or in their element, we are seeing a human. We may or may not walk in their shoes, but spending a moment with them especially viewed through the queer lens, allows us to resonate and/or inform ourselves of their experience. Now, more than ever people that fall under this vast umbrella or queerness need each other’s support more than ever, especially support from those of us who are able to share whatever privilege we embody. This portrait series is simply part of a wider discourse that aims to give us all an opportunity to stop empathise and celebrate our varied expertise.”
“Being me! Having grown up in a place and time and environment that was hostile to us and not having any of the usual support expected in formative years increased the ‘stand alone’ presence that carried on through life. But anchored in world we live - the key is education - years of LGBTIQ+ activism that saw us achieve legal rights but as we see not a shift in society thinking - making alliances to work towards where everyone can be them as they express within society”
- Anton Johnson
“Considering the current state of the world it was easy for my mind to drift into hardcore prepping... maps, first aid kits, pink bandanas and lots of glitter. If we’re going to survive we need to do it EXTRA GAY.
But really, Queer resistance looks trans. It’s our trans peeps that are consistently on the front lines of resistance for the LGBTQ community every single day. We are visible unapologetic truth seekers in a world that targets us.
Queer resistance looks Black. It looks like black and brown folk being leaders, being supported, celebrated and recognised.
Queer resistance looks like not fearing for your safety when walking alone. It looks like a family.
It looks like Trans issues being general knowledge and not an issue any longer.
It means fighting for our Trans babes in Brazil who have the highest mortality rates in our community. It looks like not assuming and not telling people who they are and who they can be. Queer resistance is REAL trans, REAL black, REAL sex positive and REALLY fucking fun. And we’re dancing in it, shining it and I’m so grateful to be a part of it.
- Khaleb Brooks
"Presenting the way I do without gender binaries constricting me is a macro and a micro activism. It is taking up space and saying yes, I do exist! I have had people reach out to me in the South Asian community who have told me how my existence has really helped them with coming out or seeing me has changed the way they thought about people who present like me” "Working and lifting up other queer artists is an important part of my practice. I try to work with trans and brown artists because in that sense it is a political statement to say I can do something that is institutionalised but at the same time represent people that are marginalised.”
- Furmaan Ahmed
“As someone who identifies as non-binary I believe language is just a tool; it’s never really going to be able to fully define my existence, but it can help give some indication to who I am. Identity is something that is constantly in oscillation. One of my biggest acts of resistance is resisting what is expected of me even as a non-binary person. There can be an expectation of what non-binary should look like. We don’t need to dress a certain way to validate our identity. You can define your own existence.”
- Ashton Attzs
“Resistance is very much the appropriate word in my case. I spent most of my youth resisting who i was. I used to go to bed wishing so hard that i could be like everyone else, fantasising about waking up in the morning and being “cured.” Thankfully Im so much happier in my skin these days but im still Unpicking what it means to be a young gay person of colour in 2020. I think its something like this.. Being queer is like being a superhero, you have all these powers and strengths you don’t understand, and in the beginning it feel like a curse ,But once you learn how to use them, and overcome all the deamons you realise its actually a precious gift given to you at birth. The ability to spread love light and laughter on even the darkest of days.
I think the world needs a few more superhero’s right now. So just be yourself. It’s the only person you’ll ever be.”
- Elander Moore