Where Journalism Meets Social Action

Duo Spreads Queer Joy with Free LGBTQ+ Portraits

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Two Newcastle-based creatives have set up a new organisation offering free portrait photoshoots to LGBTQ+ people in the area, in order to spread queer joy.

Amy Langdown (they/she), a 21-year-old writer, producer and facilitator, and Tom Robson (he/him), a 24-year-old photographer are the team behind Queer Joy Captured. They met through Newcastle’s spoken word poetry scene and joined forces due to their shared passion for the queer community.

They are working in collaboration with The Wardrobe, a local resource that offers clothing and makeup to trans, non-binary and genderqueer people. Clients can choose an outfit from The Wardrobe’s collection of donated clothes and have their makeup done before the photoshoot, which aims to celebrate their identity.

A sneak peek at The Wardrobe’s impressive clothing collection

When asked why they believed an organisation like Queer Joy Captured was necessary, Amy said: “There’s a rise of hate crimes at the moment and it’s becoming scarier to be queer. Something like this would really help someone having a hard time, because they can look at their photos and remind themselves who they really are, despite the negative external forces.”

Tom added that Queer Joy Captured is also vital for Newcastle in particular. “In places like London where there’s a higher density, queer people can get together more easily and projects like ours do exist. In Newcastle, queer people are nothing new, but queer people being visible actually is for many people.”

“Those from working class backgrounds aren’t introduced to queer spaces from a young age, so they don’t realise they’re queer until later on in life. So spaces like Queer Joy Captured and The Wardrobe eases them in and allows them to finally be themselves.”

The organisation has already received an outpouring of support from the community, gaining 200 followers on Instagram over just two days and five monthly donors on Patreon, as well as a number of one-off donations and many people offering to volunteer for them.

Tom said his favourite thing about being involved was “being able to put my allyship into practice with my love for photography”, while Amy said “I love getting to see all the lovely messages!”

You can book a 90 minute portrait slot with Queer Joy Collective here. Alternatively, support the organisation with monthly donations via their Patreon, or by a one-time donation through Buy Me A Coffee. Be sure to follow them on Instagram and Twitter/X for updates.

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