Coming out

What really scared me about photography was how I was supposed to tell or show things about myself. I wasn’t really prepared to come out, which made things complicated for me during my study.

Although I figured I was already showing a lot about myself in my photography, people always wanted me to tell about what I was showing. But they also wanted me to tell why I was making it and what it meant to me....

I often refused to talk about this and I avoided these kind of questions. This however brought me to get into a lot of arguments, which is probably the stupidest but also the easiest way to get out of these complicated situations.

This project came to mind after I had a basic photoshoot with Dave van Thijn. During the photoshoot he told me how he was struggling being gay, while he really wanted to join the army. It wasn’t difficult for me to talk about this subject with him, because I was already working in the army myself. Dave unfortunately didn’t finish the military training and he never became a soldier in the end.

With the story Dave told me, I could relate very strong. So I figured that Dave would be the prefect model to pose for my project about coming out. This way I could show the story without people realising this was actually very similar to my story. I asked Dave if he wanted to help me with my project and luckily he was happy to do so.


Quote :“In the theatre of life, you have to push yourself out of the closet while people are try to push you in.”


I can honesty say this is one of my most life changing photography projects I have made, because this was one of the first times I really chose to show people something about myself. I did however tell Dave’s story to many people as an excuse to why I made this project. Until I pushed myself out of the closet as well.


by Arjan Spannenburg