OUT WITH SAVED TATTOO
Bianca Kosoy: Tattoo & “OUT” Portrait Session with Stephanie Tamez
Saved Tattoo, 426 Union Avenue, Brooklyn
“By using your body as a canvas, you can dispel the myth that beauty is only
skin deep.” -Bianca Kosoy
“OUT” – Our Voices
Multimedia Gallery Show by Photographer Carsten Fleck
Monday, June 20, 2011
Stonewall Inn: 53 Christopher Street, NYC
“OUT” – our voices is a multimedia project which shows how 18 gay men and women, some prominently known, came out to their families and friends. The show, which opens the Monday of Gay Pride Week, June 20, at the historic Stonewall Inn, consists of 18 photographic portraits (16 x 24”) and tape-recorded stories about how each individual first revealed his or her sexual preference. As visitors stand before each portrait, they will hear, through their headphones, the heartfelt account of how the person in the photograph first admitted being gay to close friends and family—either last month or forty years ago.
Homophobia, while on the decline, is still rampant today. In a Gallup Poll conducted in May, 2010, 43% of Americans called gay sex “morally wrong.” This social climate greatly increases the risk of suicide among young lesbian and gay teens. In 2010, at least six gay young people committed suicide because they were bullied by their classmates. The show “OUT” hopes to counter the suicide risk among gay young people by showing that coming out can lead to a more honest and satisfying life.
Kelli Peterman, who manages the Trevor Project’s East Coast call center, says, “Especially for those who live in conservative communities, there’s the constant stress of, ‘Who can I come out to?’ Even before a teen gathers the courage to come out, he or she may often hear comments like, ‘If I had a gay friend, I wouldn’t hang out with him.’ When you’re 13 or 14 years old, that’s a tremendous amount of stress.” OUT, which will reach a national audience through blogs and You Tube, can offer comfort and hope to teens who have either suppressed their sexuality or been teased because of it. Young gay people and their parents—indeed all people—need to know that most scientists believe that sexual orientation is genetic: no more a matter of choice than a person’s height or skin color.
All proceeds from the show will be donated to the Ali Forney Center in NYC, to support housing for LGBT homeless youth. When teenagers come out, they are sometimes banished from their homes and forced to live in the street. “I thought my show ‘OUT’ would be an ideal way of calling attention to their plight and raising money for their cause,” says photographer Carsten Fleck.
In late 2010, Fleck mounted a critically acclaimed multimedia show in New York, The Shadow of War, with contemporary portraits of elderly Germans, half of whom are Jewish. Visitors listened to their stories on headphones and came away, often in tears, with a greater understanding of what it was like to live in Germany during World War II. Similarly, visitors to “OUT” will learn about the challenges and rewards of coming out and will be moved by the stories they hear.
Bianca Kosoy is the Executive Creative Director at Equinox and a proud supporter of gay rights & tattoos.
Special thanks to Bianca Kosoy, Jason Frye, Stephanie Tamez, & Saved Tattoo
Edited by Marie Havens
Photography by Marie Havens
Design by Marie Havens
Bianca Kosoy Tattoo Session with Stephanie Tamez, Saved Tattoo, 426 Union Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11211, Sunday, June 12, 2011, Photography by Marie Havens