By James Dillon III & Kate
We reached out to Maine-based photographer James Dillon III earlier this year about running their ‘Queer Americana’ series on CQ and we’re proud to finally be able to bring it to you.
Photographed on a road trip across the country, Dillon’s series pushes buttons by setting up curious contrasts and juxtapositions, sometimes subtle and sometimes not. It’s a reflection of how queerness feels in our own personal spaces versus how it feels in the larger world around us—it is simultaneously familiar and foreign.
‘Queer Americana’ is a reminder of how one size doesn’t fit all. And yet, each of us must find ways of being in the world and ways to feel comfortable in our own skin. It is, at times, challenging.
Welcome to #queeramericana
“I didn’t really know many people who were queer growing up in rural Pennsylvania. And the few I did, it was pretty hush hush. I spent my high school years having purity culture pushed on me. So I never realized I was attracted to women, because it was safer. Looking back now, I can see that I was definitely having crushes.
It wasn’t until I was almost 30 and moved to Maine that I finally gave myself the permission to be myself and explore. I’m happier now than I’ve ever been and people I’ve known my whole life can see it too. I’m still learning about myself, but I’ve come a long way in the past few years. Getting away to a place that I could explore and be myself has made all the difference in the world.”
James Dillon III is an artist living in Portland, Maine. A self-styled Renaissance Queer, they use photography, writing, and performance art to explore, celebrate, and challenge the world around them.