Words and photography by Ciaran Frame
Follow the project here
Queer Acts of Resistance is an on-going portrait series which aims to celebrate and join the dots of disparity under the umbrella of queerness.
Each portrait is accompanied by a story which is as little or large as each person wants to share.
Our acts of resistance could be on a micro scale such as the things we choose to wear or on a macro scale such as having a platform that gives queer people a voice.
This project comes from a place of empathy. When you witness each portrait, your witnessing a conversation between myself as a photographer and the people you see.
“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 the 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
“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
“The legacy of Queer Black joy and resistance expressed through movement, music and fashion runs through my work and my existence. When I think about my relation to Queer Resistance I know that identity is unequivocally connected to my Black identity. People see me as Black before Queer even if I’m wearing a miniskirt and crop top. In my personal life I think the most powerful act of resistance is honestly just being myself and cultivating my own happiness in an often oppressive world. On the surface I think things like clothing and presentation have always helped me find that happiness and affirmation from a young age, especially regarding my gender. But ultimately I don’t really care much how other people perceive me because of personal adornment because I’m sure of who I am without those things.”
– Compton Quashie
“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 I’m 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
“In such a heteronormative world, I feel as if queer resistance is simply existing. I am a singer/songwriter and producer and I speak about loving and embracing in women’s beauty in my lyricism, this is my form of resistance. My music has brought me closer to other queer individuals creating my chosen family. I am thankful for all of my queer family as they have been stronger than parts of my real family, as they are very dismissive of my sexuality. Yet I still embrace in myself by speaking my mind and presenting myself in an androgynous way, despite their opinions and the barrier it has created. Many people have told me that they have been inspired by my music and allowed them to accept their queerness, which is a really powerful thing. Same gendered songs are still very low in popularity and I wish to break the barriers and subvert the norm within the music industry so that being queer is a more visible, especially from a black and asian perspective.”