“This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.” -Theodore Roosevelt
On Sunday morning, I had the incredible pleasure of meeting LGBT Subject 1 and LGBT Subject 2 at an undisclosed location to make their engagement photos. We had an incredible time, but I can’t tell you about it.
I took amazing photos in an exciting environment with people who were deeply in love and fun and spontaneous, but I can’t show them to you. If I did, they could lose their jobs.
This is a photo of them holding hands in front of a great grungy old building as the first rays of sunlight warm the surface of the old bricks. But you don’t get to see it, because it could ruin their careers.
Here is a photo of them doing the hipster hand hold… you know the pose. But I can’t show it to you because the laws in most states don’t protect LGBT people from being fired because they aren’t straight.
Here’s an amazing shot of them looking directly at the camera with their cheeks pressed together. They both have gorgeous eyes, full of kindness and warmth. But I can’t show you, because our country doesn’t believe that they are equal enough.
This photo is of them laughing hard at something LGBT Subject 1 said. Their faces shine with joy and happiness. This photo makes me smile and giggle every time I look at it. But if I showed you this photo, it might make you think that they are like you, and not a threat to the moral fabric of the heartland… or whatever the argument of the moment is.
If by now you’re thinking that I’m making this up, let me assure you that I am not.
Every photo that I describe here really exists and was made on Sunday in a location that I will not tell you, of a real couple whose names that I can not share with you.
The truth is that it makes me sick that people have to live in fear in our country. This couple shares a home, pays their bills, pays their taxes, and works hard. Just like you.
Every day they live with the knowledge that no matter how hard they work, how many performance evaluations they ace, how many promotions they receive, or how ‘good’ they are, simply loving each other is enough for their employers to instantly fire them.
Maybe you think I’m exaggerating. I’m not. It happens every day. In AMERICA.
The same America that claims to provide equal opportunity to every citizen. America, home of the free (if you’re straight). America, land of opportunity (if you’re straight). If you’re straight, be thankful that you have so much freedom.
If you’re reading this, remember the people who would deny freedoms from one group of citizens could also do the same to another group of citizens. The next group could be yours.
LGBT Subject 1 and LGBT Subject 2, it was an honor to have met you, and I had a great time spending the morning with you wandering around in the undisclosed location. You are truly a beautiful couple, and I wish you all the best that life has to offer. Thank you for sharing your story with me.