Picture it: suburban New Jersey, 2001. I’m buying pre-paid Visa gift cards with babysitting money, and using them to order lesbian movies on VHS to my parents’ houses. That was my whole strategy for learning how to be queer, and my takeaway was that the only thing queer bodies were good for were buckling under the weight of their family’s disapproval.
Cut to fifteen years later: I’m on the phone with my octogenarian grandmother, telling her that I’ve been a stripper for the last decade. I have to tell her because I’m about to make my first film. I’m about to tell my family, my friends, and the Internet. “Eh,” she says, her Bronx accent strong, “You’ve always done what you had to do to take care of yourself.” When I’m silent for a few minutes she adds, “is it like Striptease?”
I didn’t care at the time that my early exposure to queer or sex worker content was terrible – I was just so hungry for representation. Even if the representation was a host of terrible untruths I would internalize. As an adult, I care deeply. Enough that I am a full-time creator.
Today I make content for and about queer people, sex workers, and the weirdos among us. Sometimes that content comes in the form of narrative and documentary short films, and others, photographs. Sometimes digital, and sometimes with film. At time these are realistic or representational, and at times I continue to manipulate images through alternative processes like hand-drawn digital animation and emulsion transfer.
I strive to tell multidimensional, character driven stories across all mediums – providing a holistic view of folks of all flavors, honoring their experiences and my own. I do not strive for palatability.