Short Mountain, Tenn. Sirwoom
b/w silver gelatin print, hand tint
20 x 24 in.
As we wound are way up towards a place called Short Mountain in Tennessee, we were guided by the symbols of pink triangles on posts and trees. You had to know they were there. You had to know where to look. At the top, you stepped into the commune of this secret family. It is a place inhabited mostly by the Radical Faeries. The alternative to the alternatives. In their own words, ” We are a network of faggot farmers, workers, artists, drag queens, political activists, witches, magicians, rural and urban dwellers who see gays and lesbians as a distinct and separate people, with our own culture, ways of being/becoming, and spirituality. We believe that, as a people, we have unique and necessary contributions to make, ones that we must make to help regain the lost balance of the larger human community here on the planet.” I was allowed, for a short time, to live among these gentle souls. Here was society’s political outcasts, forgotten, neglected and abused children. I watched them live free, and safe. This working commune opened it’s arms and allowed me to photograph them. They are vulnerable outside it’s gates but they were not afraid to be vulnerable to me on the inside and I will never forget.
© Karen Abbott