queering homespace

by meredith beed

This photo series was shot with the intention of documenting the lives of my housemates and myself as we find livelihoods and community through each other.  I am a Lesbian, and I live with five other LGBTQ+ people. I shot this series hoping to capture the possibilities of imagining a space without cis men. As the six of us made our way to Tucson Arizona from the Midwest, some of us meeting for the first time, we began to shape our community intentionally. Since then, we have created a space that has given so much to all of us. Our living community has gifted me the affirmation and confidence that society strips from the validity of our identity.

In a world that works to serve and protect white cis straight men, being a Lesbian for me is a radical act of defiance. It means reimagining the ways that I was taught to build my life. It means centering myself and my needs in my relationships. Being a Lesbian is a daily reminder that my life and my body belongs to nobody but myself. For me, being a Lesbian has nothing to do with hating men and everything to do with loving women. It is also a reminder to center those whose struggles are greater than my own: those who are systematically kept in poverty, incarcerated, deported, murdered, and whose very existence to the State is viewed as a threat.

Prominent activists have established that there can be no individual liberation from struggles without a collective liberation. Living as a Lesbian today is no doubt easier than it was in the past thanks to the work of Black Trans Women and other Queer and Trans-POC who do not have a choice in their activism because people threaten their right to exist. If we are not having challenging conversations with our acquaintances, co-workers, family, and friends, we are failing those organizers, those people, whose bravery has granted us our freedoms of expression. We are failing at doing the bare minimum.

When your identity is in a constant space of scrutiny, surrounding yourself with people who will let you be whoever the hell you want to be and with people who leave space for changes in that identity over time, is not only helpful but necessary. Our home is always open and filled with visiting friends. We all support and love each other as we navigate the pressure of existing in a cis-hetero capitalist society, an act of defiance.