Got a Gayface? If so, have your picture taken Saturday at the fourth annual Celebrate Orgullo, a Miami Beach festival for Hispanic LGBT pride.
New York City photographer Ashley Kolodner will be at Orgullo with Gayface: 1st Class, a work-in-progress that showcases dual portraits of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with their eyes both open and closed.
“This idea of eyes closed, eyes open strikes me as something very universal in which we all experience sometime in our lives, where we are not aware or we are closed off and we can finally open our eyes to who we are, to what is in front of us,” Kolodner said.
She believes many photo projects of the LGBT community are sterile or mug-shot like. Her goal with Gayface is to break stereotypes and empower LGBT people to speak the truth, she said.
Kolodner, 27, said she is working to unify LGBT people in a celebration of sex, identity, association and culture freedom. Her photos are all color. Kolodner believes black-and-white pictures do not properly depict subjects’ facial expressions.
“We are such a colorful, lively, creative and beautiful group of people and I really wanted to bring that to light,” she said.
So far, Kolodner has photographed more than 400 people around the nation. This is the first time she will add South Florida’s LGBT community to the collection. Her work will be contributed to book projects, street art and gallery exhibitions.
All are welcomed to pose including allies and straight supporters of South Florida’s LGBT community.
Celebrate Orgullo began four years ago in Miami Beach as a pride festival for Hispanic LGBT people.
“It was intended to be a one-shot deal and obviously people loved it, so we took it and ran with it, “ said Herb Sosa, president of Unity Coalition, the political organization that presents Orgullo.
The festival has grown from a single day to more than 20 throughout September and early October. Saturday’s big event will attract an estimated 6,500 people and feature more than 80 vendors and food booths, along with two live stages showcasing artists, dancers and other musical guests.
Unity Coalition also partners with seven health organizations and the Florida Department of Health to promote HIV/AIDS awareness.
“We really want to showcase, celebrate and share Hispanic pride in culture and everything that makes us great, wonderful, special, unique,” Sosa said of Orgullo. “It’s not to separate but to unite.”