I met Anad last night in a bar on Christopher Street. He seems like a quiet but intensely thoughtful man. Thinking back on my conversation with him, I'm struck by the fact that he never spoke ill of his family. He has unflattering things to say about Jehovah's Witnesses in general, but amid all his talk about the difficult decisions he's had to make, I got a sense that he never stopped respecting and loving his family.
To me, the funny moment came when we were talking about stereotypes. I remembered that, early in the conversation when I was telling him about this blog, he hesitatingly asked if I was gay. I realized that this flew in the face of my assumption that, as soon as I walked into the bar, everyone there would know I was straight because I'm not well-groomed. I told him this, and he said "Look around." I did, and he said "You're one of the cleaner ones here." It was true. So, so much for that stereotype. Me, one of the better-groomed guys in a room full of gay guys. Imagine that.
Many of you out there don't know anyone (or don’t think you know anyone) who is GLBT because of where you live. Some of you may think that all such people look or act a certain way, but this is simply not true. There are many lesbians that most people don’t recognize as such because they don’t fit the stereotype, and the same thing applies to gay men.
The folks on these pages were kind enough to let me photograph them, and to allow me to share their faces and their stories with you. Click on a few and see them as the normal people they are. I hope that this will help break some barriers, stop some ignorance within people, and help to spread a universal message of love.