“Land remains the common ground for all radical action. For women, lesbians and gay men, land is that physical mass called our bodies.” - Cherrie Moraga. In the Spring of 2019, I came across a leaflet distrubuted and produced anonymously by queers for the 1990 NYC pride march. This historical document contained several articles describing queerness as a political movement and served as a tool to inspire, congregate and uplift queer narratives. The words were so heartbreaking, insightful and moving -- this lead me to create the images I wish I had seen in circulation as a child. Too often, queer narratives mature with the abscence of being educated on or introduced to their community. Growing up, I felt as if I was the only queer in the world. It hurts even more to know that there are still children growing up this way. This photographic body of work -- which features a collective of intimate queer dynamics -- began with my own desire to understand queerness. My subjects allow me to naviagte the many possibilities in which queer can present itself unapologetically. To quote the leaflet and words of queers before me, “We are the most endangered species.” Queer activism is not just about the right to love publicly, it is a bond with familal, platonic, and romantic associations. Like Romanticism, queer favors the indefinite and boundless. I carve out a space with my frame for queerness to exist without contention. These images subvert a rigid and normative gaze projected onto my community, by asking my subject to step infront of my camera and confront the viewer.
Meet the Creators
John William Murphy
John Murphy is an artist located in Amityville, New York working primarily with photography and related media. His ongoing work is an exploration of the gay male identity, community and queer activism.