How often do you see LGBTQI people of colour represented? How often are those stories and images positive?
When marginalised communities are represented in the mainstream media, often it is the tragedy and violence that is captured.
Tom Quaye’s portraits of the volunteers for Rainbow Noir, a group that celebrates and connects LGBTI people of colour around Manchester, defy this narrative. The ten images (displayed in the Inspire Gallery at Home) are gorgeous and portray pure unadulterated joy. Each portrait is taken in front of a black backdrop, allowing the radiance of each volunteer to take centre stage. These images are overwhelmingly happy, the smiles of the volunteers are contagious.
Some of these portraits are joyously silly. The portrait of Sen, for example, sees him in glasses with unicorns. The image of Toni-Dee shows her with her hand resting on her chin, a pose demonstrating a superbly fun energy.
This display at HOME is undoubtedly important. It tells us that LGBTQI people are here, queer, and full of happiness and love.
Rainbow Noir: Here will be displayed at HOME until 14th October. Rainbow Noir meet every second Thursday of the month at Milk and Honey café on Oxford Road, from 7pm til late.