The struggle is real! Coming out is a huge challenge for LGBTIQA+ people, and others who are unconventional or marginalized. Regardless of whether their announcement confirms them to be bisexual, lesbian, gay, pansexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, queer, polyamorous, HIV positive, kinky or any of a wide range of other issues this is frequently a difficult and scary expedition.
This piece represents the gradual and ongoing process of coming out. The facial makeup represents the mask we all wear, reflecting our idealized external persona, while keeping some parts of our true selves hidden from view. For many of us coming out is a continuous journey, not a destination.
The milk is a reminder that while many aspects of us are visible, out and proud other characteristics remain submerged or are only partly exposed to the light of day. There is simultaneous joy and terror in being out, we gain community but may simultaneously face censure from both mainstream and subculture groups.
One day society will celebrate us and rejoice in the amazing diversity of human existence, and we will no longer require the milky bath of obscurity.
Image: Leo Klein, Coming Out! 2016. Photograph (50 x 75cm) – RUNNER UP
The winner of the inaugural Queer Art Prize Australia was announced on Friday 13 January 2017. An exhibition of finalists is currently on show at Chapel Off Chapel until Sunday 5 February 2017. For more information, visit: www.queerartprize.com.au for details.
Queer Art Prize Australia (QAPA) is an initiative of the Australian Pride Network – ABN: 52 551 990 041
Copyright © 2017 Australian Pride Network