During this surreal period of lockdown rainbows have been appearing in windows of homes as a sign of joy and hope; after the rain we look for rainbows.
For me personally, the Rainbow Flag is a familiar and welcoming symbol of inclusion seen flying in many places around the world since it was gifted to the gay and lesbian community by Gilbert Baker back in 1978. Over the decades I've travelled the globe photographing Pride events, it always gives me the feeling of a friendly welcome, a recognisable gesture, like a warm smile.
On the 17th May 1990 the World Health Organisation declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder, and since 2004 this day has been commemorated as the International Day Against Homophobia. In recent years this day has expanded to include people with other diverse sexual orientations and gender identities (SOGI) and is known as IDAHoBIT, adding awareness of increasing Bi/Intersex/Trans-phobia to the ongoing fight for human rights. With laws in over 70 countries still punishing LGBTIQ+ people, we who live in a free society can and must celebrate our diversity and the right to love and live with personal truth and honesty.
While photographing around the globe, seeing the friendly gesture of a Rainbow Flag flying is like a welcoming smile celebrating diversity.
Since discovering a passion for photography as a teenager I have enjoyed a dynamic and rewarding career as a freelance creative with photography, design and event production as my main creative focus although I have also taught adults, teens and children, managed properties and owned a gallery and restaurant.
I was a newspaper photographer in Sydney providing social, editorial and news images for over 15 years where my photographs won awards and are held in public and private collections. In 2003 a book and short film featuring 15 years of my photography of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras was published and these were presented at exhibitions and festivals including London, Rome, Milan, Moscow, Berlin, San Francisco, Montreal, Sydney and of course, Oxford. The dreamy spires always inspire when I return home to this beautiful city.