Friday, June 1, 2012

Chicago Portrait Photographer - The L Stop

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to visit Chicago for the first time. If you know me, you know I LOOOOOVE New York.. Chicago? A cleaner, mini New York.. Never having been there, Chicago shot straight to the top as one of my favorite places to visit. It has theater, music, public transportation, art, architecture... all of it! If you haven't been, I recommend visiting. I was there in the middle of winter (January), hit freezing snow, was underprepared, and it was still gorgeous. *And* not only did I get to play tourist, but I also had the opportunity to be Elle, the photographer too.

Several months before my visit, I told JT (aka personal friend, Jennie) that I wanted to work on a photo project while visiting. My personal artwork has historically focused on cultural identity issues. JT suggested a project she had in mind, in collaboration with The L Stop, a Chicago lesbian info hub. I wasn't sure what it would entail at the time, but I couldn't be more proud of the work we produced.

Cross cultures, identity, the self. My works tend to focus on the struggles I come across as a hyphenated person, a Vietnamese-American. Or is it American-Vietnamese? Japanese-American or American-Japanese? Chinese-American or American born Chinese? As I transitioned to work on this project with JT, I felt strongly that it isn't very different for the queer community. I don't want to pretend that I know the struggles, but I do know one thing. For any community, knowing and acknowledging its existence is the first step to understanding and learning. I am honored to have photographed the portraits accompanying the resulting article to bring visibility to the queer identified Asian Pacific Islanders. More pics are featured here, but please check out the article if you get a chance. Feel free to bypass the first pic! There's a reason why I try to be on the other side of the lens :D.

And a bonus video! <3, Linda

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