Today’s editors pick is a moving and honest body of work by photographer Paola Paredes. Unveiled documents the reaction of Paredes parents as she comes out to them as being gay. This is one of the most difficult and anxiety ridden things people within the LGBT community go through. The unknown reactions of those who have known you your entire life, is a truly terrifying experience, and takes so much strength to do.
In order to get a genuine and honest reaction from her parents in camera, Paredes began to prepare. This preparation came in the form of photographing her parents every day doing daily tasks, getting them used to the camera being ever present in their lives. And the preparation pays off ten fold. The fear Paredes felt of possible rejection wasn’t without a good reason. Both her parents are conservative Catholics, and countless stories have been shared by people within the LGBT community of how their families have disowned them due to their faith. Unaware of the reaction Paredes was going to receive, she set up the camera and called her family to the table. The place where countless family meals have taken place, laughter and joy, sharing stories, sharing the burden of each others worries and hang ups. With the support of her two sisters, Pardes uttered those words that have been on the tip of her tongue for so long. “I’m Gay”. The response is evident from the photographs; nothing but love and understanding is shown. Tears flow, father and daughter embrace in hug, a truly beautiful set of photographs that depict love and understanding in its most pure form.
One photograph in particular which moves one beyond words is an image showing Pardes in the comfort of her mothers arm, a quiet photograph that needs no words attaching to it. An image that shows despite people’s backgrounds and believes, acceptance is something that can come easily when it’s the people you love. What this project does not only shows how difficult and emotional it is telling your family you’re gay, but hopefully will give others the strength to make that brave step in every gay man and woman’s life.
Words by Harry Rose
All images are copyright of Paola Paredes. See the rest of the series HERE