Location: Philadelphia, PA, United States
Being a survivor of childhood sex abuse my ongoing project 'Through The Looking Glass: Male Survivors of Sex Abuse' was began as my MFA Thesis at the School of Visual Arts n New York. Through the use of portraiture of survivors of male on male sexual assault/abuse I will be presenting an affective insight into a liminal state of existence for each survivor manifested as socially maladaptive life style. The levels of socially maladaptive life style are often directly linked to levels of acknowledgement and/or treatment for the ensuing levels of resultant PTSD directly attached to the incidents of male on male sexual assault and abuse. Survivors of male on male sexual assault and abuse live in what I choose to refer to as a liminal state. One which is seen as transmuting between an external façade of survival and an internal schism of psychological flux as they battle an overt state of PTSD. There is the constant struggle to reincorporate their psychic identity post trauma allowing a functional “normative” daily existence. They attempt to present a facade of normal-ness in their lives on a daily basis, (although by social standards there are many who would not consider their daily lives normal). The schism between the external and internal presents a discordant lifestyle as the trauma of sexual assault/abuse continues to monopolize the victim. It is through an internalized scaring of the psychological mind that the victim is thrown into a chaotic state rendering a normative existence a furtive exercise. My quasi-documentary project delves into the community of male sex workers, exploring the lasting repercussions of male-on-male sexual abuse. A survivor myself, I've staged scenes in the cramped quarters of a dive one hour hotel where I and others rehearse and reverse the power dynamics of abuse. Graphic and direct, these black-and-white photographs provide a compassionate yet unflinching portrait of the ways their subjects seek to work through past traumas.