Strengths and Weaknesses, by Taylor Horne

Monday, July 11th, 2011

My name is Taylor Horne and I am pretty much known for my style of dress and my politically driven and theatrical photographic works. I was a volunteer for the NOH8 shoot on May 13th in New York City. Let me start by saying how fortunate I was to be part of such an incredible experience and to be part of the last NOH8 shoot in NYC before the new legislation in NY to allow Gay Union.

The reason I did the shoot was because I have been through a lot in the last 3 years and I have really become well acquainted myself. I am well aware of my strengths and weaknesses. I recently started working on living as an advocate for LGBT youth. I feel that a role model of sophisticated demeanor and modest sensibility is an absolute necessity for the LGBT community. I don't believe that there are many positive role models in today media, especially for LGBT people.

We as a community suffer in the sense that we very infrequently encounter people who are gay, bisexual, transgendered, lesbian, questioning, etc. who also live positive lives. I think that is in part related to the fact that an open LGBT lifestyle is kind of taboo. I think that it is terribly unfortunate that the majority of role models we have are over the top, insincere, and frequently promiscuous. My goal as an advocate for LGBT, and the reason I came to NOH8 is that I want to live my life as an example to help break through the rumors and stereotypes of Gay Men.

I am not one to take part in promiscuity by any means. I am not flamboyant, or over the top. I do not go to clubs and I very seldom wear revealing clothing. My goal as a person is to be 100% genuine.
When speaking on this topic I find that I offend people, which is not my goal. But at any cost I feel the need to fight for our youth.

21014_medium I think that the terrible representation of LGBT lifestyles is due to the hurt and damage caused by the prejudice against it. I also believe it to be rather unfortunate that in a government that was built on freedom that it has taken over 200 years to allow people the right to love whom they please. It took years for women and African Americans to be given equal rights as citizens of a "free country". I think it has taken so long to give LGBT people the same rights because the people who are in the public eye are representing the lifestyle poorly. I do not understand why people judge me based on a sexual preference that I cannot change. I do not understand why because of that preference I am subject to the assumption that I sleep around and have strange and deviant habits. I find it to be so sad, because I know that prejudice is taught, and it is not something you are born with. However, homosexuality is.

I do not know why people feel that anyone would wish to be something that the majority hates. I would never have asked for it, but I love myself regardless and I am not ashamed to tell people who I am and who I love. I want to use advocacy to integrate LGBT people into society instead of having a subculture, where we have clubs for gay people, and parades and I don't see that any different than having separate water fountains for people of different race. I believe that by opening my door to questions from the media, and putting myself out there in a positive light, that I may be able to kill off the rumors and separate sexual deviancy from homosexuality as it has become synonymous by ignorant people, who have been taught to hate anything different.

I want to be the kind of person that people who were abused (as I was) and are dealing with adversity or feeling disenfranchised can look up to. That's why I also did the It Gets Better project as well.
I want to open my door to people who are feeling like they can't be themselves and instead of telling them who they should be as society seems to do for LGBT, resulting in this cookie-cutter gay character that people are playing out in their lives.

I want to teach people that the first step to accepting that you are gay, or bi, or transgendered or anything else people tell you is not "normal" is that you need to love yourself and take a look at yourself. I did the shoot with no props because, for me, it was just about showing me. The beauty of me with no pretense.

Sorry if this story is long, but this is my goal.

Thank you,

Taylor Horne
Photographer | Model | LGBT Advocate


Please sign in to post a comment