a note from the photographer, laura walker -
on june 28th, 1969, new york city’s stonewall inn was raided. with the throwing of what is referred to as “the shot glass that was heard around the world,” marsha p. johnson began what would be a series of riots and protests that catapulted the LGBTQ awareness movement to a new level, empowering others to stand up for their civil rights. the following year, on the anniversary of the stonewall riots, demonstrations in major cities across the US began. parades and demonstrations promoted visibility of the LGBTQ community, helped raise awareness of AIDS and gained support for marriage equality. media coverage of these events helped accelerate the movement, and it began to transition into the beautiful celebrations of love and life that pride month is today.
we know that the fight for both LGBTQ and racial equality is an ongoing one and the battle is in no way over, but there are so many accomplishments that can be celebrated and so many things about the past that will help continue to push this further into the future. for this month’s celebration of Pride, we took inspiration from a photographer of the famous and elite, slim aarons. In his words, he gained his fame, “photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.” his work romanticized the idea of life, leisure and beauty, peering into the life of his wealthy subjects.
we have taken slim’s romantic perspective and featured people who were being marginalized during aarons’ time, people who would likely never be in magazines like town and country or harper’s bazaar, and we captured them in such settings. elevating, celebrating and supporting every person, especially those who have been marginalized and underrepresented, is something we value. just as slim favored photographing the vibrant women with great personal style of the 60s and 70s, we have chosen some of our most vibrant and confidently beautiful friends in the LGBTQ community to shine and represent love, diversity and equality.
a note from basic. -
individuality, love, character — those are the intangible flecks of fairy dust that make humanity sparkle. we are nuanced bits of light that are undoubtedly brighter and better together…when we’re all allowed to shine. there’s been a lot of lost potential in a world that wasn’t, but we’re more interested in the world that can and will be.
love is love. always.
right now, the pictures and words of regular folks are authoring the pages of modern history, recording the stories we want to remember, revealing the truths we need to confront, and celebrating the value of just being human. who we are and who we love should never be a constraint on one’s life, but rather a gateway to new horizons. to our people in the lqbtqia+ community, we see you and we honor you and we’ll meet you at the end of the rainbow.
this project was the collective effort of laura jett walker, ginnard archibald, basic., gabby holloway, and our family + friend + coworker models. a huge thank you to every one of the super rad + brave + strong + kind individuals pictured - y’all’s energy is LIFE.