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Painting: Acrylic, Gouache, Marker on Canvas.
Growing up, I was often at my godfather's home; he and his partner were an integral part of m life. I wasn't taught that their lifestyle was "different" in any way; I didn't hear the word "gay" until the 6th grade, when it was used as a slur instead of a celebration. I didn't understand why; I still don't. The gay men in my life taught me about culture, art, beauty, tenacity, and self-acceptance; I'm grateful to have had these men in my life and even more grateful that today, the LGBTQ+ community is celebrated and honored - not just for the many contributions they've made to the world, but also for the strength, unity, and love they've displayed in the face of so much adversity. This is my portrait of famed NYC poet Alok Menon.