Note to Judges: This post contains nudity.
Escaping to NYC and moving up the ad industry ladder only heightened my trauma. I had to return to Mississippi to confront just how deep the toxicity can be for a poor, black, gay peripatetic.
These photographs (one taken in NYC and one taken in Mississippi) from my healing journey captures the nature of trauma passed down from a generation who never escaped the plantation.
The wedding dress that I wear in the photograph was designed by my friend Roger R. Rodney, who similarly escaped to NYC from Kingston, Jamaica. Rodney got his start designing for the original Dance Hall Queen Carlene Smith. His hyper-sexy design aesthetic would be the blueprint for Lil Kim, and later Nicki Minaj and every female hip-hop artist performing today. Much like Dapper Dan, Roger R. Rodney never received his due credit.
Roger Rodney hopes to officially become a US citizen this year and will be able to visit Jamaica after more than 20 years.