When Jordan described his concept for this shot to me, my initial reaction was Fear. I was afraid that I would look feminine. It was one of the first moments I realized that even as an adult and proud gay black man, I still carry the self hate and stigma that was programmed into me as a child. When you’re a kid, being told by loved ones to put your pinky down when you drink, uncross your legs, and “act like a man” can stick. Being called a “sissy” and “pretty boy” on the playground can stick. My only examples of gay men were in movies and tv, where they were always the joke, dying of AIDS, or being murdered. That shit will fuck you up. That shit will have you hating yourself and calling it normal. How many hours of my life have I wasted trying not to appear gay? How much energy was lost to hiding? I love this photo because it challenges me, even looking at it now. It challenges me to remember that I’m not defined by my past, and I’m not bound by masculine and feminine. I am limitless. We all are.