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7selves





The idea of the 7selves project came to my mind when I realized something about my own ambitions.
I am young, full of ideas and ready to take the world.
I could literally take a map and say “Let’s go live there”. How nice does that sound.

But, as I am a part of the LGBTI community, this pick-a-place-on-the-map game doesn’t really work.
At least, it wouldn’t work for my love life and my sexuality. 
Right away, the world map shrinks reaaaaaaally bad. Only a handful of dots on this giant planet of ours remain.
Paris, London, Madrid, New York, San Francisco.
There obviously are lesser-known “gay-friendly” cities or even countries, but as you grow up having to deal with your own country’s homophobia, it is hard to imagine full national mindsets that are cool with gay or trans people.
So you have to rely on the media or even the movies to get a glimpse of the places where you may be able to hold your partner’s hands in the street.


This. This surely is the most common concern for queer people. Being outside, wanting to show their partner affection, and having to use some sort of 6th sense to know if they can do it or not.

Now dear straight reader, the next time you’ll give a kiss to your boyfriend/girlfriend in public, enjoy it for real, for too many of us can't take it for granted.



Getting back to the media exposure of “gay cities”, I believe it is the reason why LGBTI migrations happen. Because people spread the word. And deep far into the Kirghiz countryside, there must be someone who knows that two women can kiss in New York City.
This is where my project starts.

 
 I spent 3 months in New York City in 2016, and I realized that the LGBTI population of NYC is incredibly diverse. Hailing from the four corners of the globe. There had to be
 people willing to share their stories, willing to explain how their decision to migrate was motivated primarily, or partly, by their sexuality or their gender identity.

Further down this line, this project intends to show that LGBTI migrations are a thing.
It is a real geopolitical phenomenon. It is even intensifying since there are countries that get more repressive than ever toward their LBGTI citizens.


Now, since the liberalization of societies when it comes to LGBTI rights is a slow process, there are people who cannot wait and sacrifice their existence for the sake of human progress.
They want to move, and they’ll be desperate to do it. Subsequently, the right of asylum in many countries had to adapt to these individuals; for today, fortunately enough, you can seek asylum on the basis of your sexuality of gender identity.
We’re facing the era of love refugees.





Why New York City?

Because Ellis Island. Because if it is wasn’t for its migrations, New York City wouldn’t be New York City. There wouldn't be a Chinatown, a Spanish Harlem, a Little Italy. Not to mention the Village. One of the most iconic gay districts on the planet.



Why this title?


Because, as I was putting this project together, I realized that each and every participant mentioned the quest. The quest of the self. The long way to go in order to find their true self.
 To be themselves. 7selves.

















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