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Queer Immigrant

Updated: Feb 5

I recently started working on 'Queer Immigrant', a project with the objective of exploring the psychology and life stories of queer immigrants, such as myself. I started reflecting on how the LGBTQ+ community grows up feeling like outsiders, and then I was intrigued by the dynamics of moving away and the connection between migrating and queerness.


These are a selection of some of the first portraits I have taken for the project, as well as words on their experience from the people being photographed.


Isabella Morales Salis (They/She/Him)

Illustrator and UX designer

@strangedecoy.isa


‘’I’m like every Brazilian who left Brazil looking for a better life, with a dream. Back then, when I left, I didn’t quite know what was the dream I was chasing apart from the fact that I wanted to find myself, and definitely make art. I never really fit in the heteronormative standards of the south of Brazil so I felt I needed to go.


Now I’m 27 years old and I know for sure, after years away from Brazil, that I’m pansexual and I don’t feel weird about it or guilty, at least not anymore. I had to get away from my family and country to learn how to accept this important side of me that shapes how I love others and myself, how to create art and much more.


I learnt that I will always express my queerness together with being from South America: I say what I feel, I embrace my feelings in a Brazilian way, I worry in a Brazilian way, I’m talkative in a Brazilian way.. and I believe that this is part of me. I learn a lot from people who have a more controlled way of expressing themselves, I learn to adapt to the energy of people from different cultures. But I'll tell you, it's always a relief to be able to express myself completely Brazilian and queer.’’



André Pires (he, him)

Brand Manager

@carlosandrebp


‘’Being queer, black and immigrant, in my experience, always generated the most diverse types of reactions on people, which clashed or connected with my idea of self. Weirdly when I was younger, it was much easier for me to be openly queer, than to talk about my blackness in any way. The queer spaces I used to frequent when I was younger were vastly white, and it was very uncommon to see another non-white person.


As an immigrant, a queer, and a black person in a white society, loneliness was constantly present and, on some level, it became part of my personality. With time, I slowly found a community of my own, that allowed me to understand myself, my complexities, and see others through different lenses.


Only after that I started truly honouring all these different aspects that together create my identity This also gave me the space I needed to vocalise my honest thoughts and feelings, and discover similar voices. Not just to repeat my own pattern of beliefs, but also to challenge my ideas and opinions, while respecting and celebrating my experiences. This allowed me to celebrate all we are with our different experiences, ways of seeing and experimenting with queerness in all possible shades, nuances and variations.’’


 

About Edison Domingues:


I’m an actor, filmmaker and photographer based in East London, UK. I have explored different artistic mediums since moving to London 14 years ago, and I feel I am still exploring. At 33, I am now more interested than ever in discussing lgbtq+ subjects and issues and including these themes in my work.


Instagram: @edison_alcaide

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