Grant Gill

Grant Gill

Work from Primary Magic.

“To be gay, at least during the time and place I came into my own identities, meant a varying level of removal from the heterosexual man. I have observed that the cause of this is for two reasons. The first, I must admit, is my own burden. It is the manifestation of gay desire and the fear of expressing it in visual or physical ways. The second is the expectations and stigma created by the evolution of traditional masculinity into toxic masculinity. Not only does gayness give emphasis to one’s otherness, it becomes conflated with the threat to the heterosexual’s sexuality. What the homosexual represents to toxic masculinity is a temptation of all things that have previously been cemented and understood.

Expressing love or desire with the male homosexual, as a male heterosexual, would, as Foucault once said, ‘cancel everything that can be troubling in affection, tenderness, friendship, fidelity, camaraderie, and companionship, things that our rather sanitized society can’t allow a place for without fearing the formation of new alliances and the tying together of unforeseen lines of force.’ To love a queer man is to be queer oneself, and this love can exist outside of sexuality. To be romanced and to have sex are not synonymous acts of love, and to see love as such is a dangerous territory to live in.

Primary Magic is a body of photographic work that looks at male friendship as a ritual practice outlined by a number of self-ascribed queer and magical qualities: desire, flexibility, performance, transformation, and the return. Over various excursions and vacations with two male friends that I have come to love dearly, we practiced exercises in intimacy, played out fantasies specific to my own gay desires, and bonded in ways that created new lines of communication that I have never experienced with straight men in the past.” – Grant Gill

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