“All Love is Equal,” the latest creative project of photographer Braden Summers, sets gay and lesbian couples in deeply romantic narratives, changing the (heterosexual) face of courtship while also capturing the changing cultural landscape of a community finally allowed to love.
After a year that saw the Defense of Marriage Act repealed, and the rise of same-sex marriage licensing across the United States, Summers seeks to create a visual identity for the movement, and strike empathy within the hearts of those that disparage the gay community.
“When I was thinking of iconic romance, all I could think of was heterosexual couples,” Summers explained.
“There’s very few illustrated depictions of romance with same sex couples, and I just wanted to start a body of work that showed that,” he told 429Magazine.
Summers’s idea is to create an ideal: something to aspire to and dream about, in a homosexual context.
With the advent of same-sex marriage, idealized romance for the gay community is now a possibility, and the imagery that accompanies that romance is something Summers is passionate about creating.
The images are strikingly beautiful because of the craft and artistry Summers has put into the work, traveling the world to find beautiful locations in which to shoot same-sex couples enjoying the romantic narratives once reserved only for heterosexual couples.
Creating accessible romantic narratives is important, not only for the gay and lesbian community that can finally envision the possibility of partnership, but also for the wider public who may be unfamiliar with gay couples, or resistant to the idea that same-sex couples can enjoy the same happiness.
“I am proposing a series of photographs that are entirely relatable and easily digestible to the general public that focus on love,” Summers wrote on the kickstarter page for his project.
“The aim of these images will attempt to soften the hate in the hearts of those with a strong prejudice against our people, it is to bring the aspirations of the rights of gays and lesbians outside of the western world higher than just getting them out of hiding or out of jail and actually to a place of acceptance.”
The project has been fully funded and completed, and Summers is currently on the lookout for places to showcase the work. He hopes to display it not only to the LGBT community, but also to a wider audience, in order to change the perception of what it means to be gay, or lesbian in contemporary society.
You can view more photography by Braden Summers, including additional “All Love is Equal” photos, on his website here.