I started to shoot a new multimedia project called “OUT”. This time it is about the coming out stories of  15 men and women. As at the “THE SHADOW OF WAR” exhibition viewers will be able to view prints and be able to listen to the individual stories through headphones.

For this project I teamed up with my friend Jason Frye who has been so nice to connect me to many people in the gay world. Even though I just started to shoot this project a few weeks ago I met already so many amazing people doing so.

Originally this project was about acceptance and was supposed to support young people in their coming out experience but I realized that there is so much more to it. There is so much straight people can learn from their gay brothers and sisters.

The big difference between being gay and being straight is that a straight person never has to come out. I never sat down with my family telling them that I would have something very important to say and then announced that I am attracted to women.

Nobody looks at me when I kiss my girlfriend or walk down the street with her holding her hand.

To come out, to stand up for yourself and to say I’m different takes a lot of guts but is at the same time also very empowering. It is what makes in my experience gay people so great because a straight person never has to do so much soul searching about who he or she is. It gives them the opportunity to be an individual. Is this not what we all want to be gay or straight? Be ourselves no matter what?

At  the same time the process of finding themselves and the social pressures also breaks a lot of gay people.

I’m so excited about this project! If a young gay person hears the stories of  these individuals who come out, went to New York, had successful careers, successful relationships and achieved all of this not despite of being gay but because they are gay I’m convinced it will empower them to see that they are able to do the same.



“OUT” Manhattan/New York City/Duane Reade on Broadway and 18th 2-27-11 at 09:14 PM

Please check out my website at carstenfleck.com

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