What Is Our Responsibility?

Today happened because of white supremacy.

Today, Trump supporters stormed the US Capital.

Everyone that benefits from anti Blackness and white supremacy has a duty to dismantle whiteness. We need to go into our own communities and talk with vulnerable people-particularly young people online and well meaning adults who are being brainwashed into believing in white supremacy. That uncle who’s a trump supporter or ur cousin who actively engages in white supremacy disguised as “dark humor”-they need other white people in their community to reach out to them and prevent them from becoming worse. A lot of times white suprecists are created because of isolation and misplaced anger.

The impact of reaching out to lost family members who buy into whiteness over class consciousness creates a ripple effect that prevents white supremacists being able to successfully organize.

I can’t tell u how many times I see Black and brown trans people literally campaigning for their lives. What would the world look like if more people understood the power of mutual aid? Having true tangible solidarity for the least privileged is what’s going to save all of us (but also, you should just do it bc they are fellow human beings not because I will benefit all of us). I always see black transgender organizers who are on the brink of homelessness who are the ones who are continually giving the last of their funds and their time to save others. It’s time for more privileged people, especially white cis het people, to give their time and money back to the people who need it most right now.

If u take away anything from what I just said pls talk to your family members about white supremacy.If u are white or have access to whiteness: ur money and time can be used for good.

Chicken Scratch

As the year comes to a close this December, I am reflecting more and more on how I have changed as a filmmaker and artist. How exciting is it that I get to live in a time of such rapid change! This is obviously easier said than done. To simply live during a time of massive evolution is constantly expecting the unexpected, and I am one of the lucky ones. I have my family, a roof over my head, and a place where I can incubate my storytelling and be relatively safe during the covid pandemic. 

Something has been calling me to share archives of my doodles, drawings, and journal entries while in this time of isolation. I have been doing these little anxiety doodles with worried faces exclaiming my inner worries since 2017 but I haven’t shared them publicly until this year. I have found the more I have shared these little faces and my chicken scratch handwriting, the more I realized I was just fearful of sharing a part of myself that is imperfect, fragile, and flawed. My work in photography and filmmaking always involved people coming together and being vulnerable in the physical world-now that we are cut off from the physical and spending a lot of time on screens for social interactions, I am less inclined to show the physical. I want to show the two dimensional, the chicken scratch, the fearful lines written in hope for a better and more imaginative world. Please enjoy this small collection of my writings and doodles. 

No One and Everyone

As some of you may know, I do a lot of senior portraits. Most of my client work is from graduating seniors in high school and college. Recently, a lot of other trans people of color have been asking me to do their portraits because they expressed concerns of being in the closet but still wanting to present the way that makes them feel comfortable. This is an issue I have experienced both as a photographer and as a subject of a photo shoot as well. Often times, many white cis male photographers can perpetuate racism, the male gaze, and also make many people who are questioning their gender or gender presentation uncomfortable. This leads to people not really feeling celebrated and also just creating a bad environment for the photo shoot. 

Recently I had a really great portrait session with my friend Castro. Castro is also a queer, non-binary person of color who is graduating from Saint Mary’s College of California, the same college I graduated from last year. It was a really beautiful seeing someone who has a very similar lived experience as me. During this shoot, I realized how rare of an experience that is getting commissions from people who walk through life like me.

So this is dedicated to the people who aren’t seen, the people who live in the grey areas, the queer, trans, people of color.

Here is Castro’s film they made about the feeling of being non-binary and what it feels like to have histories erased.

Using Format