One hundred Canberrans of "every colour of the rainbow" and "every letter of the alphabet" feature in Queerberra, a photography project documenting the lives of Queer people in the nation's capital.
Photographer Jane Duong and her partner Victoria Firth-Smith have put together an exhibition that depicts images of love and pride, of home, of the ever-changing concept of family and self.
"The fact we were able to curate a smorgasbord of 100 diverse beings into one collection is a testament to the fact we can come together," says Firth-Smith.
"We are a kaleidoscope of different colours here."
While high-profile residents such as ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr, MLA Chris Steel, Cate McGregor and Ginger Gorman feature in the exhibition, Duong said it was integral to the project that they captured the lives of "every day" Canberrans.
"We started the project looking for people who had done something significant in the community but then we realised that every one who is living an authentic life is doing something significant," she said.
While it was never planned to coincide with the Same Sex Marriage Postal Plebiscite, Firth-Smith said there was a real sense of pride about the project.
"It's amazing how much our community has gone through this year," she said.
"And while this was never about same sex marriage or equality, it's been really affirming for some people."
She said a few of the subjects were "coming out" for the first time, or had never been "publically out".
"For those people still in the closet before this project, it was about coming to a sense of pride in many different ways."
Duong said it was important that the subjects never felt vulnerable throughout the process. They were encouraged to choose their location, wear whatever they wanted, choose to show whatever they felt comfortable showing.
There are portraits illustrating "pup play", a kink where one person takes on the role of a dog, to families gathered around the dinner table.
"A lot of people had never had a portrait done before, a lot of people felt quite vulnerable, but being able to be seen without judgement was crucial."
Locations featured include cafes, cultural institutions, parks, playgrounds, private homes.
"Everyone has their own space," says Firth-Smith. "This is just as much a portrait of Canberra as it is our community."
She praised the Chief Minister for his work on making Canberra an inclusive place for the Queer community.
"We share these spaces and we share this city and we all love this city.
"This really is a love story, as much for Canberra as for our community."
The exhibition runs throughout the Canberra Pride Festival SpringOUT which runs from October 28 to November 26. SpringOUT features events from family dance parties to business networking evenings to comedy and lectures. A full program can be found at springout.com.au
Queerberra is on exhibition in the foyer at East Hotel, with images projected onto a wall three storeys high, from 8am to 8pm daily.
A book of the photographs has also been published and will be available for sale from November 16, the day after the result of the plebiscite is announced. The book is $50 and is available from duongphotography.com with $5 from each book donated to the Aids Action Council.
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