✨ body alchemy
“I wanted the world to see us. I mean, really see us.” — Loren Rex Cameron
🌸 SPRING FEELS
📰 ON THE RECORD
For many transmen of my generation, Loren Cameron's photography was the very first time we saw the possibilities of what our bodies could become; the first time we saw ourselves in print. We could be beautiful!
His stunning portraits, and his intentional showcasing of diversity (in every sense), made space for us to sculpt our own masculinities. This iconic cover shot is seared in all of our brains, his spirit woven into our bodies.
I will never forget holding his book Body Alchemy for the first time as a teenager in Washington, DC. In the 90s, long before social media, gay bookstores were one of our only portals to culture. Every time I walked into Lambda Rising I would pick up Loren’s book to try and absorb the pictures. I was too scared to bring the book home but wanted desperately to feel a kinship with the men portrayed.
I am forever grateful that Loren picked up the lens, turned it on himself, and then bravely invited the world to see him. To see us.
Last month, word spread across social media that Loren had passed away quietly. The heartbreaking news came in the middle of this surge of anti-trans legislation and on the heels of activists pushing The New York Times to represent trans issues more responsibly.
What NYT covers, or chooses not to cover, matters. A regular reader of the paper’s obituaries, I thought Loren more than deserved to be memorialized. His art and legacy could continue to inspire.
This week, Loren Cameron received his flowers. Thank you Penelope Green for your care with his story.
🎨 ARTS ED
Closed out the week/end with the kid at Dumbo Open Studios. Here she is studying new work from Alexandra Bell, with our gallery buddy Nick.
I’m a long-time fan of artist Glenn Ligon’s neon works, but only just today connected the dots between these incredible artists and the artisans at Lite Brite Neon.
Truly mesmerized by this sample display from Bell’s studio and now dreaming of designing a neon installation for my apt…
Last summer, Jeremy Atherton Lin’s masterful memoir Gay Bar reverberated in my brain (and inspired me to write my own personal queer geography of Provincetown). You know the book will be good when Maggie Nelson is blurbed on the cover. She don’t mess around.
His forthcoming follow-up, Deep House, promises an equally original narrative:
In his second work of cultural memoir, Jeremy Atherton Lin lays bare a love outside the law — the blooming of his transnational relationship through pivotal years in the gay marriage debate….Told through fragmented memories, structured like a mixtape, Deep House juxtaposes whispered disclosures of undocumented domestic life with the courthouse battles, media spin and political manoeuvres surrounding the most contentious civil rights issue of an era.
This week, I stumbled on Jeremy’s playlists (was it the Selleck swipe?!) and my middle-of-the-day dance breaks will never be the same.
I do in fact listen to more than just musicals… have a great week.