The IDENTITY Project – A Portrait of a Community, by award-winning photographer Chris Jepson, is an exploration of what it means to identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community today. After more than 20 years working for various LGBTQ+ media, the project was conceived in 2019 to redress the unhealthy bias of the visual narrative in mainstream media that LGBTQ+ people look a certain way.
In collaboration with Seahaven Family Pride, this compilation of portraits showcases the vibrant spectrum of faces within Seahaven’s LGBTQ+ community. The objective is to challenge stereotypes and dismantle assumptions linked to perceived identities, and give young queer people and those from marginalised backgrounds role models to look up to.
Portraiture is intrinsically intertwined with the concept of identity and the monochrome images encourage the viewer to look beyond the trappings of location and engage directly with the subjects.
Homophobic and transphobic hate crime continues to be a blight in our society. Hate is often motivated by the unknown, and by displaying this exhibition, the project will help improve community cohesion through making visible the depth and similarities in the identities we share.
All families have disagreements and moments of discord, and the rainbow family is no exception, but this project shows that our rich diversity is our greatest strength.