‘Out’ Heads South

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.