New York City–based photographer Kevin Truong knows what it's like not to see yourself reflected in media images.
As unlikely as it may seem, U.S. TV news anchor Connie Chung influenced the Gay Men Project. Chung was the only Asian who Kevin Truong had ever seen on TV growing up in Portland, Oregon.
"As a kid, I remember being excited any time I saw an Asian person on TV, in a movie, or in a music video," he said. "I also remember what it was like to not see it. A part of that has always stuck with me, and as an adult, as I look around at representations of gay men and women in media, I don't see a lot of reflections of myself. I know the Gay Men Project is only a blog, but I do hope by showing men over the age of 50, men of varying body shapes, men of color—I hope it's providing something for someone, just like Connie Chung did for me."
The Gay Men Project is helping to shatter the invisibility barrer. Truong launched his visual catalog of gay men from around the world online in May, 2012. Truong photographs gay men in cities as varied as São Paolo, Paris, Panama City, London, Ho Chi Minh, and Washington, D.C. Among them are Canadian cities as well: Montreal and Vancouver.
A series of photographs of each man or couple by Truong is followed by stories from the men themselves in their own words.
In spite of spending his formative years in Oregon, Truong (who calls himself a Pacific Northwest boy at heart) had never visited Vancouver. He finally took the opportunity to visit our fair city when he was home for the recent holidays.
Although he didn't know anyone in Vancouver prior to his visit, he spread the word through his social network and managed to find 15 Vancouver men to profile. Among them are entrepreneur, TV host, and blogger Patrick Levesque and radio host Cory Ashworth.
Truong said that the project, which unites his background as an art-school student and working in the non-profit sector, is still in the formative stages. He hopes to continue being as inclusive as possible and he considers it a collaborative effort
To view the Gay Men Project or to contact Truong to participate in it, visit the website.