This is a weekly installment where I share a few standout frames from a beautifully shot film, and how they will influence my own camera work as a small/no-budget solo professional videographer.Read More
Right now I'm booking a lot of wedding gigs, and I'm really enjoying that kind of work. It is fun, creative and I get to tell a love story. It really is a great gig, and I sincerely feel artistically fulfilled by this kind of work.
It is also an industry with heavy heteronormative leanings. For a multitude of reasons, none more prominent than the legality of same-sex couples to marry; and for same-sex couples in a state/country where it was legal, how many of them have a supportive family helping plan and fund their big day in any comparable sense that many if not most opposite-sex couples have?
So far, all of my wedding gigs have been opposite-sex couples, and lately I find myself defaulting to language like, "Bride and Groom", more often than I wish. Which is perfectly acceptable when talking about a specific wedding experience, but then it becomes extremely problematic when talking in a more general sense.
For example, I was recently at a meeting with the organization, "Youth-Outlook" , which is an LGBTQ support group for young children. One of the people I met was a gay woman named Nancy. She shared a bit of her story with me, about how she was a homeless teenager who didn't think she deserved love or happiness until this organization opened its doors and showed her the love and acceptance she deserved.
During this meeting, I referenced my wedding filmmaking experiences in a way that defaulted to the terminology, "Bride and Groom". It didn't feel problematic or offensive at the moment, and the two people I was speaking with didn't visibly or verbally react to my verbiage. What I do know for certain is how unnecessary and dangerous it was to accidentally perpetuate a culture of exclusion. Intentional or not, that antiquated default is not respecting the value of someone gay, queer, trans* or, "Non-YA-BUSINESS!".
I have a responsibility to set an example in this industry that weddings are for all couples, of all variants of gender and sexuality. My language should reflect this, and the only assumption I shall ever make from this point forward, is that everyone has a unique love story, and I'm available to help them tell it.
Looking forward to working with all couples who are about to wed, and saved room in their budget for a beautiful video.
Last Sunday I attended my fourth Chicago pride parade, and I have something to say about it.
First and foremost, I want to specify that this parade is about cultivating safe public passages for the LGBT community to exist as equals. Specific causes like honoring the stonewall riots, honoring the Act-Up movement (A.I.D.S. activists), equality for the Lesbian community, protecting trans-people who struggle to have access to even the most basic rights of public dignity and to create a genuine acceptance of bisexuality. These people are the frontline of the parade, literally and figuratively, this should not be forgotten or pushed to the side for any of the following feelings I'm about to share.
Pride also functions as a reminder to people of all backgrounds hetero/cis-gender alike, that the expectations of conformity is as arbitrarily contrived as this face:
So much of our shame, negativity and fears are manufactured by a narrative we ourselves did not write. We bought into it for a myriad of reasons like the comfort of privilege, a culture of fear and puritanical heritage; and we can take responsibility for some of that; but if you want out of that system, even for just a day, you are not alone and the parade is there for you with open arms.
This parade is a joyous celebration of what we are all capable of when we replace the fear of judgement with unwavering love and acceptance for the individuality of us all.