This is a time to stand up and fight back. A few hours after I heard the news about the shooting at gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, I felt the need to address this tragedy in some way. While mourning for the victims of this massacre, I simultaneously wanted to celebrate the LGBTQ community, especially people of color. As a photo editor and someone that identifies within that community, I wanted images that celebrated us because we need visibility — we can't fade into darkness and let these catastrophes define us.
I reached out to photographers whose work feels so relevant to me right now because they speak about people reclaiming their bodies and power. The work of these artists — Bryson Rand, Ian Lewandowski, John Edmonds, Laurel Golio, Matthew Papa, Richard Perez, and Zak Krevitt from New York, and Denmark's Freja Wold — opposes silence, oppression, discrimination, and hate. Through the subjects' gazes, subtle gestures, and quiet or loud moments in-between, we are confronted by their intimacy, complexity, and beauty. As Wold told me over email, "When politics fail, art often wins."