When I started this, I believed in making photos that looked idyllic. Not anymore. Nothing about this project has been idyllic. I don’t want to be the representative of the “gay, inter-generational, inter-racial couple”
With time, I learned that to be young and have affection, lust, desire for much older people was not an exceptional phenomenon. It is merely a rare expression in contemporary society.
Eventually I came to understand my relationship to this age-gap phenomenon—and on another level to whiteness.
I assume now that my peers found it odd not for age but position: I refused to be “with” youth, I chose to be “with” white men. Neither of these positions were anything I consciously chose. They were inevitable clashes with desire.
“Balboa set his dogs on fifty putos he found there and then burned them, first knowing of their abominable and filthy sin”
Affliction for little reason more than the salacious mainstream image managing the public assumptions of sexuality between age-gaps partners: stockholm syndrome, age-play fetishists, solicited sex, gold diggers, sugar daddy & baby, lolita complexes, "daddy issues."
Meanwhile, the Rich, Old, White Man remains a charged symbol around the world as a social marker for our white-supremacist capitalist patriarchies. Ones relationship to that symbol contains an active political violence—as a brown body, my public appearances with an older white man never represents itself as just a relationship.
Despite this, when I began this project I earnestly believed in creating a new "queer representation" for the "good" intergenerational coupling beyond the mass media image.
That naïve passion died with time. Mass media continues to control the essence of this thing, then the sugar daddy youtubers began popping up everywhere, and with it my interest in this subject vanished.
When I conceived this project I was much younger, childish person than I am today. My intentions and goals changed with the months and from 2018-2021 the project hung like a specter over my life. After showing some prints at exhibitions, and receiving several rejection letters for grants, I finally decided that my work was done.
The idea to curate accompanying elements and show them here was late—about January 2022. What solidified this decision? Something I learned over the past 5 years was that “age gap” relationships were never exceptional, not now nor historically. In many cultural cases, they are very ordinary. Presenting my photographs as a singular experience somehow always managed to convey the events within the photos as “unqiue”.
Nothing about this project is unique.
Thanks to everyone whose paths crossed mine during this discovery, and who contributed to shaping this work: Jurgen, Alain, Lin, Peer, Guntram, Pierre, Cristophe, Dale, Mr. X, Kenny, Larry, Herrman, Nayaab, the wrestling physician, Loren, Francesco, Chris, Will, Terry, Jessi, Bill, and to my dears Louis, Latifa, Cory & Dominic