One of Ibarra's portraits Image: Facebook/ Alejandro Ibarra
Los Angeles-based photographer Alejandro Ibarra's photo series, 'Coming Out Stories,' might well be on its path to becoming iconic. Inspired by personal experiences, Ibarra decided upon a project, which could convey the significance of a process that is personal and sensitive. He asked some friends to pose for him, and talk about how they came out. Other people eventually heard about it, and asked to be a part of it.
"I knew I couldn’t really be myself because it was strictly against my religion (he was raised a Mormon) and school codes of conduct, but a few days before I hit 21, it really hit me," Ibarra talked about his own coming out story to Metro.co.uk.
"I wanted to be around other people like me, to be able to go to a gay bar and even just flirt and feel that kind of an attention. So, I started calling my friends back home, to let them know one by one, came out to them, and moved back home quickly after," Ibarra added.
Each of his portraits have a different story to tell. For instance, 30-year-old Alex admits that his brother outed him to his family, after going through his phone and reading the messages between him and his 'best friend'. "I never planned on coming out. But after my best friend kissed me, I knew I wanted to feel that passion again," says 25-year-old Leo, in his portrait. Ibarra made each of his subjects write their experiences, in their own hand, on top of their photo.
"For people who don’t identify as LGBTQ+, I’m hoping this will give them some insight into what we go through, and hopefully turn them into allies of the community if they aren’t already," Ibarra told HuffPost. "I shot everyone in my living room. This helps keep things casual and relaxed, and more like two friends just hanging out and talking. The whole photoshoot is really just a conversation," added Ibarra, who teaches photography in LA.
Check out more of Coming Out Stories here.