‘It’s a private moment but in a wide open public space. It made me think about how queer Black men struggle to be seen for our true selves’

In 2018, I was visiting my cousin in Dallas when I remembered that a friend from Portland had moved there. I hadn’t seen him in a while and heard he had a new partner, so I asked if he wanted to catch up. The minute I saw him and his boyfriend, I wanted to photograph them. They were both wearing similar clothes, and something about the matching colour palette made them feel like a pair. We took a walk through Como Park, where I spotted this tree. I asked them to stand behind it and embrace each other, with their faces obscured.

What struck me was the interplay of intimacy and anonymity. It’s this tender moment, slightly hidden. We can see that it’s an embrace, but we can’t see who it is. It’s a private moment but in a wide open public space. It made me think about how they – and I – as queer Black men, struggle to be seen for our true selves in different spaces.

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