I’ve never felt I fit in with what I believed was THE gay community, a culture that seemed to be marked by an ease and openness around sex that I did not possess. I’ve always felt a tension between the family-oriented grown-up part of me and this coy inner-child navigating an overtly sexual community. Over the past few years, as I’ve begun to explore multiple queer communities and identities, it seemed important to understand what originally led me to thinking of the gay community as a singular identity in the first place. Which is how this work first started.
On some level, I’m discovering some of my youthfulness through the process of creating this work. I’m working with three truly thoughtful artists (Mica Sigourney, James Graham and Nol Simonse) who all have somewhat different trajectories in how they’ve navigated growing up in the queer community, and how they experience youth. Hearing their stories has triggered some changes in my assumptions and my own relationship with youth.
I guess I’ve always been interested in storytelling. From the start I’ve had an image of people sitting around a fire – with someone in the center re-enacting an old tale. I want to get at that feeling. It has been exciting playing with how to bring the audience into that experience, and how our stories can help us navigate an otherwise vast and unwieldy topic. I’m ready for us to light the bonfire and start welcoming folks to have a seat. Get comfy. Pull up close.