Informed by the past and looking to the future, this photobook will try to be true to our changing times, to its subjects, and to its author's personal journey.
Above all, it will hopefully assist in removing the stigma that still surrounds LGBTQ people and gay parenthood by creating awareness about the commonality of such “gay families”, especially–I hope–for viewers in parts of the world where homophobia is still prevalent.
Thematically, I am interested in exploring the intersection of the mythical, homosexual, and political in American culture, and am envisioning a book that would contribute to the discourse on what constitutes the proverbial American Dream in the 21st century.
I've been working on this project since 2009, and have thus far photographed families in the states of California, Oregon, and Washington. The photobook is currently about 75% completed.
Since at its core this is a book about America, I feel it needs to include the rest of America outside of the West Coast. Thus, with your support, I plan to meet with and photograph families living on the East Coast, in the South, and in the Midwest next.
I would like to travel to Maine this November, as it is one of three US states (together with Washington and Maryland) whose voters will decide on whether to legalize same-sex marriage. Besides Rhode Island, Maine is currently the only other state in New England that bans same-sex marriages, a region which has been otherwise described by The New York Times as “the nucleus of the same-sex marriage movement in the United States.” [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/05/us/05marriage.html]
On my way back to California, it would make sense to make a stop in the South, and of all the Southern states Florida seems to me as the most progressive, and thus closest to a future Zeitgeist, not to mention that it is one of the most important swing states in presidential elections.
Finally, no project about America can be complete without a visit to the Heartland, and, having received positive inquiries from families living in Kansas, I'd like to make another stop here, particularly around Thanksgiving.
Of course, I will be open to visiting with families living in other states on my way.
Gas: $1,500 (8,000 miles estimate)
Food: $1,650 (55 days estimate)
Lodging: $1,100 (20 days estimate)
Financial Fees: $350
Additional Perks (“Thank You” Gifts):
Besides the perks listed to the right (or at the very bottom, depending on your screen size), you can also receive the following, in exchange for your contribution:
- For your $20 contribution receive 'Christian City, USA' — An artist's book featuring the most Christian City in America: the city with a church on every street block. Softcover, 26 pages, 12 photographs, 8" x 8", saddle-stapled.
- For your $30 contribution receive 'Urbanized Trees' — A photobook about trees specific to San Francisco, but also a reflection on growth within societal constraints. Softcover, 80 pages, 50 photographs, 5.25" x 8.25", saddle-stapled.
- For your $40 contribution receive two work prints, of which one will be from the Gay Families Project, and the second one from a different project. Sizes vary between 3" x 5", 4" x 6", and 8.5" x 11" respectively.
If you would like any of the above, all you need to do is make a contribution for the specified amount by checking out with the "No Perk, just a contribution!" button.
All contributors will receive a discounted rate for the purchase of the final book, upon publication.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you think this is a worthwhile project, please help me get the word out by sharing the news of the fundraiser with your family and friends.
Please note that this fundraisers which started on the day of the first presidential debate is scheduled to end on Monday, October 22nd Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012, the day of after the last presidential debate.
I appreciate your interest and any support you can offer.
Despite living in San Francisco and having a somewhat diverse network of peers, I am continually amazed at my kids’ perception of their world still dominated by traditional families. I would love to have a book on my coffee table that showed families like ours. I know that my kids would look at it every day and not feel so alien.
– Gay parent who is raising two adopted children
Stefan, [your Gay Families Project] is revolutionary. Brave, disquieting and loving. The subjects are too wonderful for words. I was moved by your position throughout. And so pleased to see how you work no formulas with your photos. Very few photographers would be as naturally accepted as you were in this kind of a sensitive situation. You did not let them down or betray their trust.
– Donna Ferrato, Documentarian/Artist/Activist Photographer