Embodiment: A Portrait of Queer Life in America is an archive and a journey through a rapidly changing community and the lives of people who offer brave new visions of what it means to be queer in America today.
Stopping in churches, parks, high school classrooms, back yards and bedrooms, I have collaborated with individuals from both urban and rural areas for over six years.
With this ever-growing archive of portraits, I aim to highlight a national experience while acknowledging its many diverging, overlapping, and at times, conflicting parts.
Created as a joint effort with participants who boldly stand in front of my lens, Embodiment reveals images of love and survival, creative forms of gender expression and the ever-changing anatomy of a family. It is my hope that these photographs will become a lasting archive for generations to come.
— Molly Landreth
A Portrait of Queer Life
in AmericaMolly Landreth is archiving a rapidly changing community and the lives of people who offer brave new visions of what it means to be queer in America today.View Images
A Portrait of Queer Life in America
A Portrait of Queer Life in America
Molly Landreth is archiving a rapidly changing community and the lives of people who offer brave new visions of what it means to be queer in America today.View Images
Embodiment: A Portrait of Queer Life in America
Molly Landreth is archiving a rapidly changing community and the lives of people who offer brave new visions of what it means to be queer in America today.
Ducky and Her Friends, Cedar Rapids, IA. 2007 © Molly Landreth
Ashley, Jackson, MS. 2009 I think about my life and how hard it is to be a loud mouth, out of the closet, black lesbian living in the south and how I wouldnt change it for the world. - Ashley © Molly Landreth
Brit, Austin, TX. 2009 My initial attraction to derby had a lot to do with it as an emerging subculture, one alligned with queer feminist politics a sort of southern punk rock/rockabilly aesthetic. - Brit © Molly Landreth
Cat and Brittany, Iowa City, IA. 2009 I gave you my heart six years ago and you have cradled it more gently than I have. I promise to hold your heart, your hand, and your body with love and respect and joy yesterday, today and tomorrow. - Cat speaking to Brittany during their wedding ceremony which was held the day after this photograph was taken. © Molly Landreth
Charlie and Honey, Seattle, WA. 2005 © Molly Landreth
Chickadee and Her Family, Concrete, WA. 2006 © Molly Landreth
Claire Mercy, Bellingham, WA. 2007 © Molly Landreth
Cookie Tuff, Ann Arbor, MI. 2008 My life is dedicated to documenting and being surrounded by badass women who are *unashamed* to put themselves in the spotlight and inspire and influence the world around them. - Cookie Tuff © Molly Landreth
Cooper, Oakland, CA. 2009 At the second this image is captured, however, I am beaming from the inside out. Cant recall what nudged me toward this moment of joy. But I am grateful for the reminder. - Cooper © Molly Landreth
Cruz, aka Jalesa, Columbus, OH. 2007 First of all, not sure if I would call myself queer, but definitely trans. Trans, to me means being different. And that is something I am trying to understand. What I see when I look at this picture is a girlmaybe even a woman that needs to be set free. I keep seeing this familiar face, staring back at me and not knowing what it means. It is like a dream that you cant wake up from and I am not sure I want to. - Cruz © Molly Landreth
Diyamond Dynasty, Saint Louis, MO. 2009 Basically in that picture I felt confused scared and didnt really understand how I was going to pull off living my life the way I wanted to. - Diyamond Dynasty © Molly Landreth
Gary and Jeremy, Brooklyn, NY. 2005 © Molly Landreth
Jesus, Dallas, TX. 2009 Thank you so much for doing this project as well as allowing me to become a part of it. You guys came into my life during a chapter of my metamorphosis where I felt that I had no chance at life and I have found an immense source of inspiration from you alls presence. - Jesus © Molly Landreth
Adrien, Washburn, WI. 2009 When I think about the person I was during the shoot, I can only think about how brave I was able to be. Its been an intense journey since then and looking back at the boy I was in that photograph, I know he has the strength to get through it; some days it wont feel like it, but he will. Every time I look at this photograph, I stand up a little taller and feel a little braver. - Adrien © Molly Landreth
Jim and Rob, Detroit, MI. 2007 The Defense of Marriage Act insults all of us. Sanctity of marriage? Please. We have stayed together for almost a quarter of a century because of love, commitment and intent. Tell us of a law that can make our truth a lie. Love endures. Opinion is fleeting. - Rob © Molly Landreth
Jo and Connie, Roseville, MN. 2009 © Molly Landreth
The Jentlemen of Distinction, East Saint Louis, MO. 2009 Being a Jentlemen is about hard work, dedication and being a family. These are my BROTHERS, no matter whatâ?¦. I am PROUD to be a Jentlemen. I hold my head up high and proud! - Dusty of The Jentlemen of Distinction © Molly Landreth
Pastor Charles and Tommy, Garland, TX. 2009 Tommy and I will be together 10 years in December (2011). There was a time when it seemed virtually impossible that this picture might even have been taken, especially with Tommy holding a Bible. It's been a very difficult journey for Tommy and I. But I have tried to obey the voice of the Lord all the way through this entire experience. Sometimes that is all that kept he and I together. Relationships take work. The best relationships will always have Jesus Christ at their center. - Pastor Charles © Molly Landreth
Nomy, Oakland, CA. 2009 © Molly Landreth
Meg and Renee, Seattle, WA. 2009 At the time this was taken it just seemed like a fun weeknight project, now in a frame on a wall it reminds us both of that moment in time and how amazing it is to know someone whose shoulder you can rest your life upon. - Meg © Molly Landreth
Trending this Week
Wear Good Shoes: Inspiring Advice from Magnum Photographers
Download this free 60-page PDF from Magnum Photos—filled with excellent tips, advice and words of wisdom from the photographers at Magnum, as well as many of their iconic images. A great resource for anyone who wants to make better pictures.
Announcing the Winners & Finalists—LensCulture Portrait Awards 2017!
Portraits are unique in their power to captivate our gaze and show us something new and unexpected about each other and the world we live in—discover the 44 international photographers who were selected for this year’s award, an inspiring showcase...
Days of Night/Nights of Day
Daily life, work and play, in the northernmost city in the world, Norilsk, Russia (also the 7th most polluted city in the world) — a fascinating, detailed photo report with 45 exquisite images.
Ukraine: The Silent War
Although the historic events at Euromaidan have long since passed, conflict rages on in Ukraine—according to the photographer, “the story of this absurd war has yet to be told.”
The Original New Yorkers
New York has long been a city of immigrants, of new beginnings, of constant change—but the present pace at which long-time residents are being forced out is alarming. This series gives voice to native New Yorkers who have been particularly...
Natural Red Hair
A young photographer from the Netherlands, Hanne Van Der Woude, combines her love of verdant Dutch landscapes with an almost obsessive fascination with natural red hair. The photos vibrate with hyper-real intensity.