photo of the day 2/3/2012. photo © Michael Rosen
photo of Mark I Chester, Gay Pride, Civic Center San Francisco, 1984
This is one of the few photographs that have ever been taken of me that I like. Michael and I went to this Gay Pride Celebration together and he was playing around with a panoramic camera, which is why this photo has such unusual dimensions. I love the fact that here I am in Civic Center, during a Gay Pride Celebration and there isn't anyone anywhere near me. It wasn't planned that way, it just happened that way. But I think that it speaks volumes.
Some people are meant to be popular. To be admired. To be worshiped. To be friended and linked to and followed. And some of us are more apart from it all than a part of it all. I think I realized that in 3rd grade when I wasn't invited to the birthday parties of more popular kids in my class in school. I always felt different. I understand more about what that difference is now, but then all I knew was that I was somehow different. And the other kids knew it too. Instinctually. They knew that I was not one of them. They didn't know in their heads why they didn't like me or want me around when they hung out. They just knew that i was different.
So I became friends with David. He was also different, although not necessarily different from the others in the same way that I was. David was the only child of Holocaust survivors. Something that was whispered about, but not something you were ever allowed to ask about. He lived about a block away. In gym or phys ed, we were the last two boys chosen to be on any team, which means that nobody wanted either one of us to be on THEIR team. When we hung out we played a board game called The Game of Life, or just Life for short. I guess in retrospect it's funny because the game was all about getting married, having kids and getting a real job because that is what life was all about. At least according to this board game. Being a gay radical sex photographer in San Francisco was not one of the available options. <eg>
Things change. Places, people and times change. And we change. But I guess, looking back on it all, there are other things that never change.