Friday evening at 7 pm, Classical Showcase continues with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in a program of music by Charles Ives, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Jean Sibelius.
Gay In America
New York photographer Scott Pasfield had a portfolio filled with celebrities and a successful career but wasnâ€™t quite fulfilled creatively.Â Pasfield had been searching for a project, something to reignite â€œa passion again in my work, that had sort of been dying.â€Â Pasfield recalls advice he heard that when searching for a concept, the best way to start is in your world; in what you know.Â After years of soul searching he realized: â€œFor me, that was gay men.â€ Â
The resultant book, â€œGay In Americaâ€ has intimate portraits of men from Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont and every state in between.Â For three years Pasfield traveled over 54,000 miles to photograph over a hundred different men and collect their stories.Â In it there are cowboys, priests, architects, fathers, brothers, sons, and neighbors. Â
â€œTheir stories are really abut the human condition, and about love, and loss, and life, and how being gay affects those things,â€ explains Pasfield. â€œ You donâ€™t have to be gay to appreciate them and learn from them.â€Â
One story comes from Martin & Peter, the former is the brother of Columbus native Lynn Stecklein.Â When Martinâ€™s liver was failing, Peter his partner became a living donor without hesitation.Â â€œHe and Peter just celebrated twenty years together,â€ says Stecklein.Â â€œHeâ€™s a wonderful man, fighting for his life.â€ Martin came out to Lynn while she was going through a divorce and she says, simply: â€œIt means absolutely nothing to me that my brother is gay.Â I love my brother no differently than if he were married with three kids.â€
Both Lynn and Scott share the same sentiment about the positive impact of â€œGay in Americaâ€ can have.Â Whether itâ€™s someone struggling with their own sexual identity or a parent learning how to cope, Lynn shares the crux of the message: â€œ[It is] a book that says, â€˜Itâ€™s ok.â€™ â€˜Youâ€™re ok.â€™ Take a look at these people from every state in the United States. Theyâ€™re ok. And you are too.â€
â€œI wish [Gay in America] it existed when I was a kid,â€ Pasfield divulges. â€œSo I made this book for kids.Â You know, that you could go anywhere, do anything, and be anyone you want as a gay man.â€
What does it mean to be gay in America?Â There is no clear answer, no single defining notion.Â However, that seems to be the point.
â€œI was able to heal as a gay man myself in many ways through this project in finding wisdom from men all over the country,â€ says Pasfield.Â â€œIn it I learned that Iâ€™m ok.Â Itâ€™s ok to be gay.”
To purchase the book “Gay in America”, visit your local bookseller or visit www.gayinamerica.us