A series of portraits aimed to “shine like a beacon of hope” for the future of young LGBTs has gone on display in Forest Hill today.
The #Outcome project, by Lewisham-based photographer Tom Dingley, 28, showcases portraits of men and women from the LGBT community holding pictures of themselves as children alongside visual displays of their current profession.
According to Dingley, the main intention of the selected photos, now displaying at Seniors: “is to develop a wide sense of diversity and variety that exists within the lesbian, gay and transgender community.”
“I want the portraits to shine like a beacon of hope & optimism for the future of young LGBTs or those confused by their identity. My portraits show that you do grow up, you can come out and still lead a successful & happy adult life.”
However, Dingley states, he is not trying to “sugarcoat” the coming out process: “It can sometimes be the most fearful thing someone overcomes, but I am saying it’s worth doing because there are great opportunities as an out adult and a community that enjoys life and looks out for each other.”
“The portraits show the adult holding their own childhood photo and just how far they’ve come.”
The images form part of a larger ongoing project that Dingley hopes to develop throughout the year. Having already photographed La Voix from Britain’s Got Talent and John Waite, winner of the Great British Bake Off, next on his celebrity wish list are Tom Daley and Stephen Fry.
“I want the #Outcome project to be a recognised tool that can help combat homophobia, challenge stereotypes, promote equality but also enrich the lives of our own LGBT community”, he said.
“If the project were to be used as a tool in schools and communities, like the current exhibition in Lewisham is, then I will feel a great sense of achievement.”
The exhibition, co-produced by Lewisham Positive Ageing Council and Library and Information Services, is part of a series of events from Lewisham Positive Ageing Council and Lewisham Council to engage older adults with LGBT history month and to encourage understanding across generations.
#Outcome will run until March 17 at Seniors Club in Forest Hill before moving to Lewisham Civic Centre from March 18 onwards.