The holiday season is a very difficult time of year for me. I’ve been estranged from my immediate family on and off since I graduated high school. I won’t go into all the details in this post, but long story short, I had a difficult childhood and I’ve struggled with their conservative values and expectations for how I should live. One of the hallmark reminders of the depths of fucked up my family wades through is the months of November and December.
I’m not alone in my loathing of the holidays. Lots of queer people feel unwelcome in their family’s homes. Sometimes it’s outright hostility and other times it’s more subtle microaggressions from the drunk uncle. Our love, our gender identities and our self made families are what set us apart from the rest of the world. It’s difficult to see the beauty in ourselves when the people we love are constantly pointing out the things they find unappealing.
For the last few years as an exercise in self care, I’ve found myself collecting images of queer couples to remind me of the diversity, strength, and grace in our community. I thought this year I’d compile some of these images for you. In an effort to celebrate love during a time when family tensions run sky high, I give you the best photos of queer wedding and engagement shoots from celebrated photographer Tara Beth Robertson. May they remind you of love and beauty when times are hard.
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