What is the Queerbook?
The Queerbook is a photo book with a collection of portraits of queer performers across the United States. The photo book will be designed in the style of a yearbook.
Chris Jay, the photographer behind this project, will travel across the country capturing queer performers in 1 - 2 day open shoots in major cities. The shoots will be almost like school picture day with the intention to create a space where queer performers can gather in one space. The project is as important as the book. In many cases the queer performance community is segmented and it will be a great opportunity for everyone to share the same space.
Why create a book?
I believe there is power in print. As a photographer and performer I have noticed that many events that have been covered by local newspapers and magazines show photos of performers but they do not always attach a name to the performer. I feel like putting a name to a photo and giving the performers space to express themselves with a quote and a superlative will possibly give more insight into the diversity within the queer performance community. Not only will this book provide a historical record of our community but give a sense of pride for the performers who deserve recognition for their contribution to the LGBTQIA community as a whole.
VISIBILITY! It is time for us to gather and be recognized for what we do. We are more than entertainers. We are leaders, inspiration, trendsetters, educators, role models, mentors, and so much more. We are drag performers. We are singers, dancers, actors, comedians, and burlesque performers. Everytime we get on stage or appear on television we are giving someone permission to live authentically. Being a part of this project will give someone who has yet to come out or express themselves a tangible book full of performers who have taken the steps to create and maintain spaces for queer performers to discover themselves.
Why support the Queerbook?
This book will be a physical collection of a community of unsung heroes. Any money raised will help us travel quicker to find more performers across the country. Who knows, we might go international. The goal is to travel and capture as many performers possible and with your help we can create much needed visibility with a comprehensive collection of images.
Where will the money go?
All funds will directly go to sustaining this project and printing the book. We need to budget for rental costs for event space, marketing supplies, equipment insurance/rental (accidents do happen), and basic travel (hotel, airfare). These are only the first steps to help get this project off the ground. Our goal is to travel to all 50 states by May of 2019.
Where are you going?
So far we are booked to photograph in Baltimore June 24th, Philadelphia July 15th, Pittsburgh September 9th, Brooklyn, NY Oct 8th, and Seattle Nov 10th. Contributions to this campaign will help us go to more cities into 2019! Hopping to add Chicago and Oakland, CA to the list very soon.
Risks and challenges
There are a lot of challenges with this project. This will be my first major publication as I continue to learn about the book making process. Working with other authors and photographers has been extremely helpful with shortening my learning curve. I am currently looking for a publisher but I have estimated the costs of producing this book myself, even if I am only printing books from this Kickstarter.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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