Queer Theory by Engin Beri Collection Header Image

What I witnessed at my first ever NYC Pride March in 1990 shifted my entire being. Such pure expression and celebration – free from man-made constraints of gender and sexuality, was something I had previously not been able to even fathom, especially coming from where I come from. After beginning to make photographs professionally, I made a promise to myself to revisit the Pride march each year to record its raw, unbridled beauty and to serve as a reminder of how far the LGBTQ+ community has come. In 2013, I had the privilege of marching in the parade and documenting its majesty from the inside out. It has become a proud cornerstone of my work, a record of queer power and beauty that informs my art as much as it informs my own humanity.

My intent in juxtaposing the vibrantly colored portions of the images against desaturated background subjects (that harken back to newsprint) is to illustrate the historical importance of the Queer movement. When we see the proud colors of the LGBTQ today, we forget the dark history behind it. We fail to recognize that for every flag we see raised high, someone paid for that freedom, died for it oftentimes. The photos insist that the unbridled br... See more