One of the reasons I support and fight for equal rights is not to make having them matter, but to make having them not matter. It shouldn't be something special to have the same rights as others, it should simply be just a right. There is so much written about celebrities and coming out. Should they, shouldn't they, do they have a responsibility, or the right to choose for themselves, or have their rights been given up to angry bloggers?
What I love so much about actor Guillermo Díaz is he has done something I truly respect, he has made these questions almost irrelevant. Guillermo is gay, but it hardly matters. Unlike those who have taken to talk shows and magazine covers, Guillermo' energy has been focused on his acting with the results truly mesmerizing.
This past weekend, I finally finished the last 5 episodes of last seasons Scandal and Guillermo's performance was both chilling and heartbreaking. While many Scandal viewers are concerned about whether Olivia and President Grant will ever be together, my attention is all on Huck. Guillermo's Huck moves between performing cold calculated torture and murder through the toll the emotional pain and anguish his actions have taken on him. His ability to have you support and feel for the character speaks to the level of commitment Guillermo has to his role.
Guillermo breaks so many assumptions and stereotypes not through his actions, but instead, seemingly through his lack thereof. Simply by being who he is and excelling at his craft make everything else rather unimportant, exactly how it should be.
Back in 2011 I profiled Wisconsin photographer Robert James and his work with model Kyle (Home Alone). Born from a desire not to pose his models, Robert's Home Alone series is one of my favorites. Robert simply sets a stage and leaves his models to inhabit the space as naturally as possible.
All of us can identify with the freedom of being Home Alone, especially when we were younger and shared our living space with parents and siblings. For me, having the odd evening, even the odd hour, alone in the house was something I always looked forward to. Most of us wouldn't necessarily want those moments captured on film however, because when young, being home alone means exploring parts of the house, and yourself, you wouldn't normally do otherwise.
As a young boy, it was when home alone that I got to explore pieces of who I was without the risk of being judged or ridiculed. It was a time to explore to the rooms of my siblings and my parents, looking for clues to who I was and how I fit into the world. My fathers suits, my mothers jewelry and clothes. My brothers secret drawer and magazine stash. It was a time experiment with wardrobe and hair and look at myself naked in my mothers full length mirror. It was the only time I could loudly play music and dance around on the make believe stage in our living room.
When you live in house with others, being alone also provides a brief window of time to safely explore your sexuality. My brother's Playboy magazine's provided stimulation as they thankfully featured the odd male/female couple shoots that became one of the few places available to enjoy taking in the male naked body.
The only downside to this alone time at home was that it never really lasted too long. After about a half hour, I would always start to worry someone was going to come home and discover my secrets. I continued what I was doing, but now frequently peeked through the drapes to ensure a car hadn't pulled into the drive way. There were many days I had to rip off what I was wearing, turn off the stereo, run frantically around, room to room, replacing everything I had used during my time alone. Then, as the key entered the lock, I threw myself onto the couch, flicked on the television and pretended I had been laying there the entire time. I am quite sure my heavy breathing gave me away, but my parents never really said to much, even though I am sure they knew.
For Enrique, being home alone means relaxing and removing the clothing that kept him under wraps all day. Pouring a drink, stretching and enjoying the feeling on skin on fabric and he pulls the blanket up to enjoy the freedom that comes from finally being by himself. Enrique has an spectacular body and his face is beautiful with magnificent distinct features.
As incredible as these images are, Robert says it was somewhat of an odd shoot with the natural element he strives for a challenge to achieve. Enrique definitely has the look and the modeling skills for sure, and was fully comfortable being naked in front of the camera, but during the shoot model and artist were far from being home alone. The addition of a third party created a weird dynamic that made it a struggle to create a natural atmosphere. Although Robert welcomes others to his shoots, in this case, the third party created a bit of a creative block that Enrique and Robert had to work around. Despite not having the luxury and freedom of being alone, they obviously overcame any distractions to end up with these incredible final images.
I have loved the work of photographer Joseph Lally for a long time, but recently have really been enjoying his collaborations with model Allen Lovell. Their most recent project is the video Here With Me, a exploration into love, hate, regret and obsession, many of the feelings that have consumed us all after a break-up.
Here With Me by Joseph Lally
Featuring Allen Lovell and Mary Elaine Ramsey
Scored by Chezdune and Angelo with vocals by Angelo