Atlanta men featured in ‘Gay in America’ book

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Six local men are ready for their close up in a soon-to-be released book by photographer Scott Pasfield, who spent three years capturing portraits and stories of gay men in all 50 states.

Project Q Atlanta got a peek at the entire book, which is set for release in September, and not surprisingly, the 140 men profiled in “Gay in America” reveal not gay clones, but a wide diversity of backgrounds, ages, personal histories and careers.

imageThe only set trait of all the men is that they are gay and out. Otherwise, expect to meet guys from ranchers to retirees, bankers to boyhood sweethearts, and everyone in between. The two couples and two single men from Atlanta in the book are no exception. Here are glimpses of what they add to the fabric of “Gay in America.”

Robb and Keith (top photo) “collided into each other without the intent of ever letting go,” according to the book. The couple says gay and straight acquaintances alike are surprised to find an African-American military brat and computer geek together with a British-born roaming scholar with dual citizenship entrenched in the Deep South.

Michael (second photo) works for the W Hotels chain. He tells a sadder story of being an unwanted child, family abuse, and the saving grace of his late grandmother. These days, he celebrates an ingrained passion for photography and the ultimate goal to live out his days in sunny Florida.

imageTodd and Jason (third photo) have been together six years. In 2008, they married in San Francisco during the brief window when same-sex unions were legal there.

“We knew that we had to participate, even though it wouldn’t mean any more than the paper it was printed on in our home state of Georgia,” Jason says in the book. “We wanted to be part of history and show the rest of the country that our relationship was no different than that of opposite-sex couples.”

Jason is a Chattanooga transplant, and Todd is from Detroit, but in addition to other interests, they share the experience of loving but religious parents who were sure that their sons could change their sexual orientation.

David (bottom photo), who lives in Snellville, is a deaf man helping raise a son and daughter with his former partner. Lovingly called “Mommy with a Beard,” David was named Mr. International Deaf Leather in 1995 and is embracing a new single life with some surprising news: his HIV status was incorrectly diagnosed, and he lived for eight years under the false impression that he was positive.

imagePasfield apparently spent quite a bit of time in Georgia during his work on the book. “Gay in America” also features Rick, a UGA bulldog from Lexington, Ga., aspiring fashion maven Gary in Columbus, and the now-ended “triad” relationship between seniors Robert, Richard and Dale in Savannah.

The book takes as its premise from a quote by Abraham Lincoln: “I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” From what we’ve seen, these local men are picture-perfect examples.

When the book releases, Pasfield will embark on another cross-country tour, this time to introduce the fruits of his labor. His plans include a stop at Outwrite, and local men profiled in the book are expected to take part in the Thursday, Oct. 27 event. “Gay in America” is available for pre-order, and we urge you to remember that your locally owned booksellers at Outwrite and Brushstrokes are ready and willing to reserve your copy.

UPDATE: Read our interview with photographer Scott Pasfield.

Until then, check out this video promoting the book:

Photos from “Gay in America” by Scott Pasfield. Click each to view a larger version.


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