Saturday, January 5, 2013

Partners: Deano by Chris Teel

It is interesting to me how certain words take on different meanings depending time, circumstance and where you are in life. When I was a kid, partner only had one meaning to me.  The only thing I connected to the word was that of two people bonded together in some sort of business relationship.

I remember distinctly when I first heard the word used to describe one's significant other. It was the early 90's, I was about 14 or 15, on what was one of the last camping trips I ever took with my family. We went tenting pretty much every summer, usually with another, or several other families or relatives.  This ended when my siblings and I were old enough to rebel and refuse to continue to go.  On one of the last trips, we were all sitting around the fire and a female friend of my mothers referred to someones husband as their partner. Once the word was uttered, a slew of giggles followed, not just from every child, but as well from a few of the adult males within the group.

What followed the giggle was a lecture, one that annoyed most everyone, but impacted me greatly. Although I too 'acted' annoyed, when my mother's friend scolded the group about our laughing, she went on to inform us how 'partner' was a respectful way of identifying a significant other of any sex or of any sexual orientation.  It was a powerful moment that hit me hard. I think it was the first time in my entire life that I heard someone connect someone who was gay with a term that was anywhere close to being respectful.

Since that day, my feelings toward the word have been mixed. In many ways it is great to have a word that can describe someon, that is not based on gender or sexual orientation.  Like many words however, it's overuse can become annoying and it's power or meaning become less effective. Time has also brought more acceptance, and using partner today can almost be a bit insulting.  Why wouldn't a man call his partner boyfriend or husband if  married.  And of course when not in a relationship, any word to describe a significant other can become gag worthy.

At its core, without other meanings thrust upon it, the word partner indicates a connection.  A bond with someone who shares a common interest and works along side you in achieving a common goal. During the course of working on FH, I have been a bit blog tramp, working with multiple partners to bring readers the best images of the male form I can find. I can't name them all, but there are a handful of incredible artists who have routinely partnered with me and shared their work and stories.

One of the first photographers who I began working with on a regular basis was Toronto's Chris Teel. 2013 marks the 5th year FH has worked with Chris, showcasing his images in well over 50 features over those past 5 years. Beginning with model Sergio Hiram and continuing with dozens of other models and dozens of shoots through last weeks pieces with Claudiu and today's with Deano. I look forward to many more incredible collaborations and a second Model Search which we will hopefully be unavailing soon!

Chris Teel On ModelMayhem

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