My love of communicating my experiences of the world around me through photography was born in the days of disco, in the infancy of my coming out in the gay community, in its infancy as a movement. That’s what it was called then. Eventually, we referred to ourselves as the gay and lesbian community. A while after that, bisexuals were included and then transgender and queer. My friend, Mark and I used to refer to ourselves as GiBLeTs. It’s easier to say. Even within our community, who is still fighting for the dignity of first-class citizen, inclusion has been a journey and we have not been immune to categorizing each other by color, class, creed, and degree of acceptable “gayness.” But the successes we’ve achieved in our journey toward equality have come about because we’ve realized that we are stronger together.

In any event, I was talking about photography.

Friday night I went out with some friends after dinner to a gay club for a drink and when we arrived, a drag show was underway. There is something universally home spun about a drag show. I’ve seen them in Ann Arbor, Detroit, New York, Chicago, Paris, Key West and right here around the corner from the state capital. Even if the performer is really convincing, or creative in the presentation, there is an unsophisticated charm that wraps the experience. I’m having difficulty finding the right adjectives, but perhaps those of you who have been to them can help me out.

I hope you enjoy them and if you would like to see my early photos of the “ladies” in my life click here.

Friday Night Diva (c) Kathryn Van Aernum

Friday Night Diva (c) Kathryn Van Aernum

 

Friday Night Diva (c) Kathryn Van Aernum

Friday Night Diva II (c) Kathryn Van Aernum