Great story and photos from Brandon Stanton. Hard to explain, just read it. And interesting look at drag queens, and the movement at large. Do read the entire thing.
I love the gays. Always have. I respect the hell out of them. Because at some point in his or her life, every gay person has to look society straight in the eye and say: “I’m gay, and I really don’t give a f— what you think.” And that isn’t an easy thing to do. If everyone had that kind of courage, there’d be a lot less frowning faces on the subway. There’d probably be more people dancing on floats, half-naked, covered in metallic body paint, and waving peacock feathers in the air. Because you can’t really be free until you don’t give a f—. And not giving a f— is just about the hardest thing there is to do. And every gay person has to do it. And I respect the hell out of that. Always have.
I first met Robert on Halsted Street in Chicago. I was just beginning to do street portraits. It was the night before Chicago’s Pride Parade, and I was in the city’s gay district looking for interesting people to photograph. There was no shortage of subjects. At one point, I noticed a large black man, walking down the middle of the street, wearing a shiny red costume and clearly not giving a f—. Inspired by his example, I too walked into the middle of the street, dropped to one knee, and began snapping photographs….
(Sorry, I had to edit the f-word, it’s not edited in the origional – long story, but in the past it, along with other more benign phrases, has gotten us on a black list of “bad” sites because people are too lazy to tweak their algorithms.)