Sunday, December 15, 2013

What A Difference A Year Makes?

Yes, I meant to put the question mark up there in the title.  Really, what has changed since last December?  Everything.  Everything is different...yet some things, I think the most important ones, are exactly the same.  And thank goodness.

A year ago I went for a photowalk around downtown Sunnyvale with my friend, then-neighbor, and fellow photographer Parisa.  The other day I met her there again, only she is now a he, as Parisa has become Paris.  This should have made all the difference, but somehow it didn't.  It was just a photo date with my friend, and although I was excited about the new developments in his life, our time together felt familiar and comfortable.  Same place, same time, same person...same fun!  And then it struck me - the trick in life is to embrace change while preserving your essential self and the things you believe in, the things you love most.  A few of us manage that balance easily, but I don't think it was ever meant to be easy.  It's right, however, and that's that.

Many people I know have difficulties understanding and accepting different sexuality and gender identity, and I am so very glad that I don't.  One less thing to worry about, I guess.  Besides, I have discovered that whatever the sexual preference or the chosen gender belonging, no one is doing anything to me, or against me.  This is not about me.  It's about the freedom of being yourself, whoever this might be sexualy or in terms of gender.  I was never a fan of boxes and labels, must be careful with these, because otherwise you might wake up and realize you have become a walking stereotype yourself.

Paris and I always have these great conversations about life and art and personal struggles and soul searching.  I wish you guys have a friend like this in your life too!  Please enjoy these portraits and have a great weekend!