The Real Men’s Project (http://realmensproject.org/) is a group and initiative that is working to stop the cycle of domestic and sexual violence in Jackson and beyond. It is a group lead by our good friend and Ally, Dani Meier. His dedication to issues of violence and of homophobia make him a hero in many of our eyes. He is tireless in his pursuit of helping and assisting the LGBT community, and raising a little hell while he’s at it (which is just one of the reasons we love him!). Did I mention he’s a handsome devil too? But I digress.
Dani recently encouraged me to submit a photo for a photo contest promoting fatherhood and non-violence (see the website for details and entries in the gallery section). Since I am big art and publicity whore, I started thinking about it right away, but then Tod and I started having conversations about just how much publicity we want our children to have, especially in this arena. After some dinner talks, Tod drafted this letter:
We appreciate all the work you do for the Real Men Project and promoting non-violence. Tom and I have discussed the photo contest and based on the history of how our children came to us, we are not comfortable putting them out there for such a public display. Anna is the amazingly beautiful outcome of a terrible event, her mother was sexually assaulted when she was only 15 years old by a stranger. Eli was taken away from his parents because of abuse and neglect. We realize that we should celebrate that they are now in a safe environment, but we are still not comfortable putting them out there in a contest such as this one. Especially with Eli, whose parents still live in Jackson but don't know who we are or that we even live in Jackson.
Tod & Tom
Dani was disappointed (as he knows about my mad photography skillz) but he understood. However, a few days ago, the image below came up on my screensaver and I knew I had my potential winning photograph.
Please to enjoy.