This post is sponsored by HBO and Gentleman Jack.
Sometimes it’s impossible not to marvel at how far we’ve come in the past 50 years; sometimes it feels like nothing has changed at all. That last feeling is bittersweet; it’s incredibly painful to still be struggling with the same inequalities and dangers that our predecessors did, and it’s indescribably affirming to look to the previous generation and see ourselves, our relationships and style and humor and fierce resolution. This series was an opportunity to honor our queer history by recreating iconic pride photographs through a modern lens, making explicit the connection between the past and the present that forms the living legacy we’re all a part of.
We began this project by choosing images from historic LGBTQ protests and pride parades that incorporated a message or captured an energy we thought might be interesting to reimagine. We were able to recruit queer folks online who were excited to participate. Mika, our wardrobe stylist and Autostraddle’s resident style expert, sourced updated versions of the looks in the original photographs. Our production designer Mauricio skillfully replicated the original signs, posters, banners and props in each photograph. We found a shooting location with similar textures to a lot of our images, which heavily feature New York City brick and industrial-looking backdrops.
The day of our shoot, we had 17 subjects come in from all over Southern California. Each of them was fitted for wardrobe and put into quick hair and makeup with our talented stylist Marla Verdugo. While each person was in wardrobe, our camera team would scout, set up and photograph each of the 9 images we wanted to recreate. Special thank you to Sara Tollefson and Selina Ruthe for assisting me with this and climbing many stairs and hauling equipment. I was slightly concerned about staging images created at a crowded event in a controlled setting but we talked through what elements and tone we wanted to convey in each image and I’m so happy with the results!
We want to thank our entirely LGBTQ cast and our amazing crew for their participation in this series. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Many of our images can be found in the book We Are Everywhere: Protest Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation, by Matthew Reimer & Leighton Brown
Robin Roemer, Photographer/Producer
Wardrobe Styling: Mika Gael Albornoz
Production Design: Mauricio Abud Friederichsen
Hair and Makeup: Marla Verdugo
First Assistant: Sara Tollefson
Second Assistant: Selina Ruthe
Juan Paolo V. Moraga (JP)
Audrey Hollis Mitch Monroy
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This is great!
I really love this! It made me so happy Robin. I really love those old photos so much. It makes me emotional thinking about those amazing people putting themselves out there in times that were so much crueler and more isolating than today. They were so brave.
This is beautiful and powerful and yes, bittersweet. Thank you to everyone involved!
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I love you. This is the best comment of all time.
this is INCREDIBLE holy shit thank you so much to everyone who created this, wow wow wow
this is so amazing!
This is so cool!!! I recently bought that book and now I’m even more excited to read it!
I am SO into this!
I look at this and I wonder: is this my history? Are these ‘my people’?
I am a lesbian trans woman living in Berlin, and I was alive when the Stonewall riot happened. All I ever had from the LGBT (or whatever alphabet soup you prefer) community: exclusion, massive transmisogyny, non- recognition as a woman, ridicule, TERF vilification and demonisation and the threat of organized violence always hanging in the air.
It is clearly their history, they own it: predominantly white German middle class gay cis men, the TERF-dominated Lesbian scene, and the tourists of course. This year, CSD (Christopher Street Day) # 41, they openly appropriate this history as theirs. They appropriate Marsha Johnson, they appropriate Audre Lorde, they appropriate Lili Elbe. Half a million people will celebrate Pride.
A TERF incident like at London Pride 2018 or Europride 2019 will probably not happen. The TERFs so successfully excluded trans women from the happy Alphabet Soup family from the 1970s onwards that there is no need to do so by shrill aggressive means. Mute, strangling, choking means are far more effective here.Pseudo- inclusion, gaslighting, permanent humiliation. And of course they have their own Pride event, Berlin Dyke*March – the asterisk being the commonplace means to express that there are real women and lesbians, and mentally ill impostors who wrongly believe or pretend they are women (Frauen*).
I never go to Pride. Apart from the danger of physical assault, why would I celebrate my own erasure?
Trans women have no community. Trans women have no allies. Not here.
Maybe one day this will be also trans womens’ history here. In another 50 years perhaps.
this gave me goosebumps and made me cry a little, thank you
These photos are amazing!
Also I LOVE the bi t-shirt in the last two photos….is it available for purchase somewhere?
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Just incredible photos.
Got a lot of fun and inspiration, thank you.