In a time when the media often uses stereotypical images to depict gay men, photographer Scott Pasfield is truly unique. Rather than searching for images that fit the mainstream mold, Pasfield has discarded such parameters and chosen instead to show the diversity of gay men living throughout the United States in his forthcoming photography book, Gay in America. With more than 3 years of work and 54,000 miles of travel behind it, the book features portraits and narratives of 140 gay men across all 50 states. As the book’s website highlights, Pasfield’s subjects come from a variety of social, professional, economic, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Their situations in life, in many ways, reflect those of the population at large. In this way, Gay in America offers “an intimate, honest picture of contemporary gay life.”
GLAAD had the opportunity to interview Pasfield about his work on this eye-opening project. During the interview, Pasfield provided more details about his approach to the book and his hopes for it in the future. Pasfield said, “I want the book to be an introduction to gay people. I hope it is a spokesperson for the gay community. I want it to educate people to the fact that so many people in their world are probably gay and quiet about it and they have no idea. I want them to understand their stories and help them relate. I want young people to have it as a resource as they move forward in their lives.”
When asked if Gay in America would have made a difference in his own coming out story, Pasfield responded, “I wish there was a book like this when I was growing up and that is why I did it, really. I wanted to know that I could live wherever I chose, in any place, in any state, in any situation, in any city, in any town, and do whatever I wanted. I think there’s a tendency today for people to stereotype gay men...Everything is possible now for every gay man out there.”
In a recently released trailer for Gay in America, Pasfield presents a sampling of photographs and stories from the book. Gay in America will be published by Welcome Books in September 2011. GLAAD congratulates Scott Pasfield for responsibly representing gay men in the United States through a book that captures their lives and experiences from every angle.