Alix Smith is a totally amazing lesbian photographer from New York who is currently trying to finish a rad and important project that is relevant to our interests. “States of Union” is a series of color portrait photographs depicting same-sex families throughout the United States. In order to complete the project, Alix is trying to take more photographs in states not typically perceived as being ‘gay-friendly,’ including New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, Alabama, Alaska, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Georgia, Virginia, Wyoming, Washington and pretty much all of them.
“I think having geographical diversity in my project is important not only to give these couples a voice, but also show viewers that the gay community comes in all shapes and sizes and exists in every community and is not exclusively on the east and west coasts,” Alix wrote in an e-mail to us. “Politicians will always vote with their constituents opinions, because they don’t want to loose their jobs – so I think real change comes from starting at the bottom and changing the constituents viewpoint. The more the world is permeated with images of loving and committed same-sex couples and families, the harder it will be for same-sex relationships to be considered ‘other.'”
Not only is the project ambitious and vital, but it’s well-executed. The photos are gorgeous and even the posed, portrait-style ones feel intimate. Alix has even found a famous fan in Sir Elton-freakin’-John, who has bought some of the States of Union photographs for his private collection.
But this isn’t about the rich and famous, natch; this is about telling the everyday stories of everyday queer families trying to do that which queer families do. And, if more people see these photos and these stories, perhaps, as Alix writes, people who see the photographs will recognize that family is family and same-sex families will have a better shot at the ‘American Dream.’
Alix has four days to raise about $25,000 to finish the project. We can help! Even if you’re skint, please help spread the word about her Kickstarter campaign and be a hero!
And check out more amazing photos from States of Union at Alix’s website.