Proud to Serve is a poignant portrait essay and multimedia piece that sheds light on the experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) American Service Members who served their country in silence or faced discharge under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law.
The project originated from a chance encounter in Austin in 2008 when a late-night pedicab ride turned into a life-changing conversation with a gay service member who shared the challenges he faced. This encounter sparked the photographer's curiosity into the lives of LGBT individuals in the military.
As a student at The International Center of Photography in NYC, the photographer found an opportunity to tell these untold stories.
For over two years, I had the privilege of documenting the stories of 65 brave LGBT American Servicemembers, capturing their experiences, challenges, and resilience.
"Proud to Serve" has reached a global audience through publications and exhibitions in galleries, universities, colleges, LGBT community centers, and even on a US Naval base in San Diego during their first LGBT pride event.
This project is a dedicated tribute to all the courageous men and women who served in silence, concealing their true identities and loves. It stands as a testament to their strength, resilience, and the need for understanding and acceptance within the military and society at large.
Order a signed copy of Proud to Serve (zine edition).