As anyone who has participated in the project knows, to me, as much as this project is about photographs, more important is the opportunity to sit down and have a one on one conversation with these men I’m photographing. In many respects, through these conversations, I’m trying to resolve something within myself with regards to my own identity as a gay man, as I continue the life-long journey of truly defining for me what it means to be gay.
And an issue I’ve often struggled with in this process is reconciling my personal faith with my identification as a gay man. I’ll always have a strong belief in God. And I’ll always identify as a Catholic. Even though I no longer attend mass, there is just something about my Catholic upbringing that has never left me. The few times I’ve randomly wandered into a Catholic church in New York City has always brought me comfort—the imagery of stain glass windows and the very familiar regiment of mass, to me, brings a sentimental quality and familiarity akin to looking through a childhood photo album.
As with everyone, my faith is very personal. And so when I had the opportunity to sit down with a gay Anglican priest when I was in London, I had a lot to say and a lot to ask.
This was one of those conversations that I’ll always remember for the rest of my life. Of course it was a private one, as are all these conversations I’m having for this project, but I hope you enjoy the pictures I’m able to share with you. And I hope on some level, they can bring you some level of comfort and peace, as the entire experience of meeting with Richard did for me.