A Showit 5 website by The Buffalo Collective. Featuring photography by Nicole Mason.
Like many other members of my queer POC family, I woke up Sunday morning deeply saddened by the news of the massacre at an Orlando gay club on Latino night. I spent the morning watching news updates, and after hearing the same media rhetoric over and over again, I changed the channel for a small escape. And since then, there has been a constant stream of thoughts, feelings and love from my queer friends on Facebook. While a small part of me is always shocked by gun violence news, most of me is not shocked. And that is what is mostly upsetting. Because, as a proud queer woman of color, folks in my community (women, LGBTQ, people of color) are constantly living in a state of fear. We notice the long stares as we grocery shop with our partners. We scan our surroundings before choosing to hold hands in public. We no longer wear hoodies at night. And we worry about the world our nieces and nephews are growing up in, and the policing of their young, loving, carefree, brown-skinned bodies. Thinking about all of this is just way too overwhelming.
And just when I begin to ask myself how I can show up for my community, I remind myself that I am privileged to have a family who accepts my identities, which allows me to be “out” and show up for my queer community. Living my life proud of, and fully accepting of, all my identities is in and of itself, an act of resistance. And as a wedding photographer who’s passionate and intentional about focusing my business on queer-identified and people of color, I will continue to share beautiful images of love.
That said, I’m going to happily add to the internet’s call to share photos of beautiful queer love (#twomenkissing), as I truly believe that love will always overpower hate. So, I’m excited to finally share David & Michael’s engagement shoot. Having known David for quite a while, it’s been amazing to watch him date, and eventually fall for Michael. They are each quite amazing individuals, and together they make a perfect couple. We spent a foggy/rainy evening together at the Fort Funston dog park (with their dog, Berkeley) and in the Castro. I had such a great time with them, and am most definitely looking forward to witnessing their lives join in marriage next month.
David & Michael, I’m lucky to consider you friends, and I’m beyond happy that you chose me to help celebrate this love-filled season in your lives the best way I know how. Being a witness to your love is truly a blessing.
Happy Pride month!
XOXO, cristal veronica