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Mohammed (Photography: Yuki James)
With the rise of social media, diversity in the queer community has increased tremendously, as LGBTQ individuals can more easily see like-minded people and feel confident publicly exploring their own identities. Despite many attempts to derail the queer movement, including Trump's reversal of Obama's trans-friendly bathroom guidelines, visibility of marginalized folks continues to rise, pushing people of color to the forefront, as well as those with various religious backgrounds and gender identities.
Capturing this community closely is queer New York photographer Yuki James, whose portraits will be exhibited at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art's Prince St Project Space this weekend.
Called Queer Today: Portraits of a Family Extended, James' debut 12-photo exhibition is a celebration of the queer frontiers who're helping foster a new generation of free-thinkers. James is a former fashion editor and stylist, who began shooting 4 years ago; he was born and raised in Alabama, as well as Japan, where he explored as a child his sense of "otherness." Being an outsider has become the core of James' work, which largely turns a lens to his LGBTQ peers.
"I'm a fan of humanity as a whole and creating visibility for those with less exposure has not only always been a priority, but also preference," James told OUT. "Cultural or beauty norms don't interest me as much as character, and real character is often developed through adversity. This show is in essence about beautiful queer outsiders."
Queer Today: Portraits of a Family Extended opens tonight with a public reception from 6-8 pm, and can be viewed on Feb. 25 and 26 from 12-6 pm. Keep clicking for an exclusive OUT preview and follow Yuki James on Instagram.