50% of proceeds from these items go to callen-lorde, a community health center dedicated to providing comprehensive care to LGBTQ new yorkers, regardless of ability to pay. in addition to primary medical care, callen-lorde offers a range of services including (but not limited to): hormone therapy, trans-affirmative gynecological care, STI screenings, HIV testing and counseling, coordination of gender confirming surgery, mental health counseling and psychiatric services, and more.
as humans, we recall painful memories better than positive ones. this is a means of self-preservation. remembering the pain enhances our chances of survival if we encounter that situation again. we also try to fight this instinct. we are taught to ignore, hide, or cover up negative experiences. if we aren’t dwelling on the memory, we’re trying to repress it. writing offers me an alternate path. one where i face the pain, work through it. where i glean its value and strip it of its power over me.
excluding negative experiences, i have a terrible memory. photos help with that. they also allow me to share the things that i believe deserve our attention. some of these scenes are more conventional than others. there are nice views from the top, moments of joy or intimacy shared between friends, mundane surfaces transformed when the light hits it just right. but i think that even these more obvious, “photo-worthy” subjects often go underappreciated, at a time when most of us are overstimulated, overworked, overloaded with information.
then there are less obvious images. broken eggs on the sidewalk or muddy rose petals on the train station floor. i find myself drawn to these small, innocuous scenes. there’s something melancholy and forgotten-feeling about them. i like to think that by documenting them, i can invite the viewer to look twice. to notice the beauty that lives on the periphery. to not keep walking by.
—tess duncan (she/her)