I created this series in response to the Parson's Challenge. In creating these images, I was prompted to build off of themes that I have already displayed in my artwork. I am extremely passionate about social issues, especially LGBTQ+ rights, racial issues, and women’s rights. I easily chose to focus on the LGBTQ+ community for my Parson’s challenge. As a gay male, I have dealt with discrimination and stereotypes for such a large portion of my adolescent life, especially coming from a small town in Upstate New York. I started by brainstorming ways I could visually display stereotypes that are pushed upon gay males. I then wrote a list of stereotypical characteristics that pertain to gay males. These stereotypical characteristics can be harmful, as many are untrue or not applicable to all gays. The use of bright pink and red, such as the boa and the red light, also represent the oppressive overly-feminine stigma attached to gay males. Pink and blue are stereotypically gender-segregated colors; Western society associates pastel pink with girls and pastel blue with boys, especially with baby clothing, toys, and other various items. Therefore, I deliberately
used a pink and blue color gradient theme in the background of the images to demonstrate the blend of femininity and masculinity contained in gay men. I also used this stereotypical color scheme through the use of floating pastel pink razors, which contrast with the baby blue backdrop. This, again, helped show the overbearing and generalized idea that gay men are extremely feminine within their masculinity and are expected to be hairless, attractive, and clean-cut. Stereotypically gay men are represented in media as overly feminine and weak, so by using a blue and pink color scheme I could accurately show that in reality gay men are individuals who all express different amounts of femininity and masculinity. By integrating a rainbow colored lollipop into some of the photos, I challenged these stereotypical assumptions by thematically showing that flamboyance associated with gay male culture is not applicable to everyone.