LGBT Alaskans Share Their Stories Love is Love Film
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Filmmaker and Photographers partner to document LGBT couples from Alaska
We are so thrilled to share with you the latest from the project! Last summer Shalem and I started the Love is Love project. During the project we photographed over 25 vibrant LGBT families from all over Alaska. Thru out the project filmmaker April Frame recorded video, interviewed couples, and compiled a video that is sure to leave you misty eyed. Check out a preview of the film below.
During our First Friday on October 5th 2012, over 760 Alaskan’s came to show their support for the project, and the beautiful couples. Later in February the show continued on to Snow City Cafe where the Love is Love Project sparked public debate about marriage equality on their Facebook page. This August the SubZero Lounge will host the next installment of the project.
One of our goals with this project was to show that love really is love. In March 25th, 2013 Alaska Senator Mark Begich stated his support for same sex couples to marry. Later Alaska’s Senior Senator Lisa Murkowski said her views on marriage equality were evolving. Yesterday Senator Murkowski in an interview with KTUU announced her support for marriage equality as well. This makes her the 3rd republican senator to publicly change their views and support equal rights for all including LGBT families.
“The times have changed… You speak with particularly many young people here in this state, here around the country, and you ask them about the issue and ask them about the issue of marriage equality and where they come down on it, and it’s almost a discussion where they say we’re not even sure why you’re deliberating and debating over it. The times have changed as we look and assess the institution of marriage.” Murkowski said in her KTUU Interview
This month the Supreme Court is set to rule on DOMA and Prop 8. Our sincerest hope that thru this project, and others like it Americans continue to see that love really is love. Do us a favor and share this with your friends?
To keep up to date on the latest from the Love is Love Project, be sure to follow the Love is Love Facebook Page.
Love is Love project featured on Freedom to Marry
Love is Love project featured on Queer Times
Love is Love project featured on Towleroad
Love is Love project featured on AccidentalBear
Love is Love project featured on Queerlandia
Love is Love project featured on Out.com
Love is Love project featured on Alaskans Together for Equality
President Obama tweets #Loveislove as DOMA is overturned by the Supreme Court
Here is a transcript from the film:
Love is just being yourself and having the other person accept you. To me love is love is giving a part of yourself to somebody else. We can share anything with one another, we’re best friends first, we make each other laugh. Love to me is complimentary. Being together, sharing those life experience. Just got a dog, a puppy, named him link. He’s 15 weeks old now, he’s part of our family, so we like to call him our son. I think parenting has braught us closer together in our realationship. You only get out of a realationship what you put into it. That’s what love is to me, just being able to enjoy each other’s company all the time. We never get sick of each other… well. sometimes. She’s a shoe horder, but she doesnt see it. I’m not a shoe hoarder. You don’t wring out the dish rag, and you leave it at the bottom of the sink. Thats the thing that drives me crazy. Raw meat, and stick it at the very top of the fridge, and the blood is leaking onto other foods. I will wake up in the middle of the night, and realize i have this much of the blanket long ways on me. Its gross. I’m like.. Thanks. He leaves the lights on all the time, so I have to follow behind him and turn all the lights off. We are like two old men, we have our routine. It’s quit strikingly the same as traditional straight marriage. Go to Middleway, order our food, read the news press, we each have a copy. I mean down to the raw meat on the counter to the dirty socks on the floor. We all pay our bills, we have mortgages, we’re exactly the same thing. We’re not different.
I was taking some head shots a girl with this organization, and she said to me ‘ I love your engagement sessions, do you take pictures of all types of people?’ And I was like really puzzeled, Um.. I think so, I’m pretty sure.. What do you mean. Well.. and she got really awkward too ‘two girls, would you be okay with that?’ Oh my gosh, my partner and me own the studio and we started it together so were definatly okay with two girls together in a photo session. She said she felt like she had to ask because she had been turned away by two other photographers. Instantly, I was like I am so sorry you had to go thru that, thats terrible. So I had her change outfits in the bathroom, and while she was changing I talked to Mitch. I can’t imagine having such a beautiful relationship, and having found that, and wanting to get pictures, and being told I’m not okay with what you’re doing so I wont take pictures of you. I posted on Facebook LOVE IS LOVE who wants to come do session, and I made a little poster and it really just said Love is Love at the top and that we wanted to shoot gay and lesbian couples in Anchorage. My phone started exploding, right away within the first hour we had 5 couples sign up, and people started asking’ What is love is love?’ whats it about, what are you doing, we didn’t have a clear idea at that point. Then it started to get shared around Facebook, getting liked and commented on. We knew we wanted to take pictures but we didn’t know what it would look like so I was just telling people we’re pregnant, we don’t know what it is yet.
So by the end of it we got up to over 25 couples, we had all these people calling and saying I want to be a part of this, it sounds amazing. And then it quickly expanded to outside of Anchorage, we had a Fairbanks couple come down, and then we had a family from Bethel come down. I think that if a photo is effective it’s a way to communicate. Art really is just a way to communicate. What I hope, is that with my pictures, I’m able to communicate something. When it’s something like a portrait or a love story session, I’m hoping that we’re able to comunicate who they are together. You know one thing that we did with Love is Love is we put them in scenarios that they’re regularly in we talked to them about what they do, who they are, where they met, and we incorporated that into their session. But it’s really just a means to and end because in those environments where they are comfortable they kind of relax into themselves and you get something more than if you were just shooting in the studio. So for some sessions we rode motorcycles, another session we watched zombie movies another one we were out 4 wheeling out near girdwood, another one we were bow hunting. There were so many fun different things, I think what was so cool about the sessions is that we were having so much fun that by the end of it we were like we need to go buy a kayak, we need a 4 wheeler, we need a bow and arrow. We met some fantastic couples. A lot of them I know that we’ll keep in touch with for life. They are just wonderful people. It’s really been and enlightening experience. Another thing we really wanted to capture were couples that had families or kids so for one of the sessions we had John and Doug and their baby boy Marcin.
It’s really important for us to capture this period in our lives, because he’s so new to us, and we waited for such a long time for him to finally come around. So it’s special as we get to know him more, and he becomes a part of our family. I know that there are quite a few of our photos that are just those moments that were captured, that we might have not been aware that they were going on, but it just completely showed a moment, and showed the love that all of us have for each other. It was just so much fun, just to actually going back to UAA because that’s where we met, and just going thru the library. And just going back there to really fun to go back there, and recapture those memories. So seeing that was cool. And they did such a good job of not interfering but just saying hey guys do this or that. It was just authentic. The whole situation the project, has just been really authentic, and that has ment the most to me.
I met Keegan I remember looking across and watching him dance and he was completely and utterly satisfied being and dancing by himself and it was like Wow, okay, I know what I want. I knew i was being watched though. So when we were doing this session, the whole time we knew that Keegan was going to pop the question. Earlier in the week my friend Bree asked me if I would go ring shopping for her fiance. So we went to the store and I was like “Thats the ring you should get for Keith… If you don’t get it for Keith take a picture and send it to keegan because when and if he does propose I want this ring. We get out on the beach, the sun is perfect, the lighting is perfect, we’re all having a great time. We shoot a few pictures and then I said I’m ready for desert. My hearts racing the whole time, feels like I’m going to have a heart attack. He pulls out the box and he’s like.. well you know how you dont like surprises. He hands it to me, and I get the box and my initial reaction is why is Keith’s wedding band in this box? He pops back with “Will you marry me?” I said yes, and thats how our session went. And just to see how excited and how overjoyed Stephen was it was really priceless.
I want people to look at these pictures and see something that is out of their life out of their experience that they cant dispute because they look and they see it’s so genuine, and maybe they dont agree with the lifestyle or the polotics of it, but they can at least see that someone is genuinely happy and fufiled by being in this relationship I dont know we just have a great time when we are around with each other I get this for the rest of my life? Are you kidding me? I love growing with her and raising our family, and I really cant live without her. I just see love as really truly understanding and loving that person with your whole heart and all your time, and I dont know, being with him all the time.
Love is Love in the Future
While we started Love is Love Alaska, we are so excited to expand the project to other states with marriage equality issues. We would love to photograph gay couples from Washington and Oregon in the next year.
We are so thrilled to be photographing a number of gay weddings in Alaska this year. From the Heavenly Lodge to the Hotel Captain Cook– There are a ton of LGBT friendly wedding venues in Alaska. If you’re looking for a photographer for your gay wedding in 2014, call us today to learn about our wedding coverage options! In the future it will be so wonderful to see Marriage Equality in Alaska!
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