Photographer Kyle Jackson On "Girly Boys" And Drag Queens
"There’s nothing wrong with being a feminine boy or a masculine woman."
Kyle Jackson, a commercial photographer, proudly declared himself a "girly boy" when he was only four-years-old.
Now 22-years-old, Jackson strives to create work that pushes his audience to think outside traditional gender roles.
There is no doubt – his work is stunning.
With his latest photo series, American Queen, he hopes to provide a voice to "feminine and nonconforming individuals" who deserve to be represented.
Jackson spent the last four years documenting drag queens in his personal studio. In his artistic statement, he writes:
"Even with today’s progressive gender fusion in the pioneering cities in the United States, there is still so much the general public doesn’t know regarding gender nonconformity."
"I started to document queens at drag bars. The queens were so open and expressive of their gender identity [...] perfect figureheads for a concentration showcasing nonconforming gender expression and empowerment."
"The concentration started featuring just queens and is now expanding to include all individuals who feel empowered by their femininity."
"My message is clear: be yourself, love yourself, and feel empowered."
When met with opposition towards the series, Jackson prompts people with the following scenario:
When your 5-year-old son fancies barbies instead of tonka trucks, what will you do? Will you allow him the freedom to express who he is, thus teaching him to be proud of himself? Or will you teach him to be ashamed of who he is, instilling a childhood worth of fear for what other people think, repression of who he really is, and anger at you for trying to mold him into something he's not? Will you teach him that fitting into society is more important than embracing who he really is?