hibernation mcqueen


Coming out of hibernation on Saturday the 8th, hours after breaking Yom Kippur fast, to photograph the next Hey Queen at Public Assembly in Williamsburg.

It’s a bit of a personal milestone.

When PTSD first struck me this winter, my hands trembled so badly I could no longer reliably hold a camera.  I had been shooting my community of friends for over a year without pause.  Yet I needed their hugs and physical reassurance to stay grounded, rather than the distance a camera could put between us.

I had to put my camera down.

Being a photographer is not a faucet you can easily turn on and off.  I am still constantly aware of what the light is doing.  I find myself stepping back to consider the big picture of the room.  I am instinctively drawn to the emotional center of a scene, and hunt for intimate gestures.  I’ve been noticing color more – particularly the shades of color in black.  I feel extremely sensitive about the visual order of a room.

It’s been almost nine months since I’ve been living with PTSD.  I still can’t put into words what it feels like to live through this experience — though I do plan to write about it someday.      I’m strong like all survivors but am definitely weary from the battle.

But at least my hands have grown steadier.  And I think they will remember what to do with a camera in them next week.

Earlier this year, in a grounding exercise in my treatment for PTSD, I was instructed to imagine the safest space I could think of.  To my therapist’s amusement, the very first place that came to my mind was the Hey Queen dance floor at 3 am, surrounded by friends.  Sometimes, when a violent flashback would hit me, I would propel myself back to Sugarland.  A gay anthem like “Under Pressure” would be playing, we would throw our arms around each other, and queens of all genders and sizes and colors would holler to Mercury and back.

I can’t think of a better place to re-emerge, then, than next week’s party.  Especially since my  travel companion Blaise is the Queen of Honor (he’s designing new looks for the go-go dancers) and Avory Agony and Sarah Jenny, my dear friends and the party hosts, have given me free license to shoot in my style, as I wish.

So…. look out for the images, coming soon.  And let’s hope for the best.

One Response to “hibernation mcqueen”

  1. 1 WHY WE DANCE | quito ziegler

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