June 1 marks the beginning of Pride month, a month honoring queer history and the LGBTQIA+ community. To commemorate the month, arts service organization Ring of Keys partnered with photographer Shani Hadijan to create a celebratory photo shoot capturing 12 theatremakers showcasing queeer joy in collaboration with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
“Our community has experienced so much trauma in the past year, particularly the trans community, as they face discrimination from over 100 anti-trans bills in state legislatures,” Ring of Keys Executive Director and Co-Founder Andrea Prestinario explained. ”We’ve also witnessed increasing violence toward our BIPOC and AAPI communities. This Pride, we want to celebrate our community and remember what brings us joy, what brings us hope. This queer joy campaign is an opportunity to share our queer selves, in our truth and authenticity, while creating visibility, which is at the core of our Ring of Keys mission.”
“After being physically separated from the community for the past year of uncertainty and strife, I really wanted this queer joy photo shoot to feel like a celebration, to uplift ourselves,” Hadjian stated. “I also knew I wanted to tie in a rainbow: different colors, unique and whole in themselves, but when put together create their own beautiful spectrum, much like the queer community. I decided to go with an additive color mixing concept which, in theory, is a reverse rainbow. In practice, it produces a slight multicolor effect in the subject's shadows or, the way I see it, creates their rainbow silhouettes.”