During COVID, my partner and I faced a displaced housing situation in which we had to stay with my parents in Massachusetts. Jacob, my childhood friend also faced a similar situation. He is a ballet dancer at the American Ballet Theatre in NYC and since the pandemic hit the city really hard, we found ourselves together again in our hometown.
After the shoot, here is what Jacob had to say about what the shoot meant to him:
"I’ve felt an immense call to action during this movement for social justice, and during pride month that call is only amplified. Being gay gives me some perspective to understand how marginalized groups feel less than, outcast, and oppressed. It also fills me with a sense of camaraderie and obligation to marginalized people, knowing that so many different types of people have fought for my rights time and time again in history. Black trans women and other BIPOC members of the LGBTQ community were the ones leading the charge to protest for gay rights over 50 years ago, and have continued to show up for the queer community. Is it not now our duty to show up for them with the same unabashed fire that they have always fueled for us? Hate and oppression know no limits, sometimes their intensity and persistence is nothing short of terrifying. But NO ONE deserves to be treated without decency and basic human respect, not matter what. Everyone should be using their platforms to stand up and help those whose voices get lost or ignored. We quite literally owe it to BIPOC to show up, speak out, and enact change. As a queer, white man I have been working to dismantle my own inherent white supremacy. As a ballet dancer, with a specific platform, I feel it is important for me to live my most authentic and proud self so that I can provide representation for others who may view my work and see themselves in me."