‘Out’ Heads South

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Photography Danielle Levitt recently traveled down to the dirty South to document the region’s gay youth for Out.

The photographic results can be seen in the latest issue, of course, but there’s also a boffo slideshow over at the magazine’s website. We’re infatuated with this kid, Cameron. Why? Because we love 2Pac, Egypt and familial tattoos, too! It’s unfortunate that he’s nineteen, about 3000 years our junior.

The issue definitely looks good to us, but no one’s more happy with the monthly’s offering than editor Aaron Hicklin:

I may be biased, but I don’t think it would be hyperbole to describe the resulting portfolio as one of the most powerful things this magazine has ever commissioned — simple, direct, and eloquent.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself drawn into these photographs by the way in which the subjects address the camera, an awkward blend of confidence and wariness that captures the transition we call growing up. And Levitt’s suggestive use of space — the schoolyard, the bedroom, the suburban street at dusk — only serves to accentuate the transitory nature of it all.

Yeah, these pictures are quite breathtaking. They almost make us want to be teenagers again, but then we remember living with our folks, being forced to take math and the embarrassment of acne, none of which make us particularly nostalgic.

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6 Comments

  • ggreen

    Forever busting that myth that all gays have good taste and a real fashion sense.

  • DW

    Nice portfolio! The article rings true.
    I was born in and grew up in Savannah. It’s a great town, but tradition sinks in deep; and I don’t just mean by the gorgeous city design. Lots of people outside of the schools, as well as the tourists, still expect Savannah to only breed Distinguished Southern Gentlemen, so the fact that there’s a relatively large gay population there is shocking/repulsive to some.

    It’s becoming more progressive (in fact, I went to a VERY progressive high school). I will never forget the student organization at my old school that was started to counsel peers on sexual education. Nearly the entire student body/faculty was totally behind it. However, things got sticky when a deeply conservative mom publicly protesting and saying that students can counsel each other on any sexual topic – unless it dealt with homosexuality. Then she gave a speech about how “this is Savannah, not New York.”

    I didn’t understand it, since I was only recently out myself. But, this is how Savannah works: There are lots of progressive people in the town, though it’s not overwhelming. The big problem comes when Savannah tries to force it’s moderate culture to match it’s traditional conservative English design.

  • ron

    Somebody tell that ignorant southern hick that he may “love Egypt”, even though he probably has never been on an airplane in his life, but Egypt and its fundamentalist Muslim people do not love gays or Americans. In fact they hate them.

  • Paramedic24

    So… emo… must write poetry… must buy more… anime shirts…

  • hells kitchen guy

    Pretty cool – but hey, I thought Out was all superficial consumer stuff and shit? {insert sarcasm here)

  • hells kitchen guy

    Oh, and Ron: I guess he doesn’t have your education and breeding. If he were black, would you have said, “Tell that ignorant nigger”? if he were Jewish, would you say, “tell that ignorant kike”? because “hick” is just as hateful. And unneccessary.

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