CRUSH - will you be my valentine?

Who do you fantasize about? Who is your crush? Do you already know who you are really attracted to?


Growing up, I was often asked if I had a girlfriend yet. People apparently thought it was very important to have an answer to that. Never in that question was there actually room for alternatives. When I look back on that time, I discover an amount of missed opportunities.

It is normal at puberty to start fantasizing about who you like. You can fantasize about girls, but it can also be about a boy. Incidentally, sometimes it can be a boy and the next time a girl. Or for that matter, it can also be fun with three people.


In practice I see that many parents still talk little about this, but also that in schools there is still limited attention to it. Of course, this varies a bit from school to school. But there are still schools which we can definitely describe as unsafe. Just think of the Gomarus College which was in the news several times in 2021 because of violations towards LGBT+ students and teachers.


Not everyone finds it easy to discover that they are gay, lesbian or bi. For many young people, this causes confusion at first. Sometimes they feel like they are the only one in their surroundings. In addition, they often grow up in an environment where you hear negative comments about LGBT+ people. Don't worry, you are certainly not alone! If you search the internet for a while, you will soon discover people with whom you can talk about your experiences and your feelings.


If it happens to you that you fall in love with someone close to you, then of course you would like to know if they are attracted to you as well. If you find it difficult to talk about that, or you don't know how to go about it, it brings a certain tension with it.


The series CRUSH is about the tension between two boys who are attracted to each other. However, neither of them knows whether the other is also gay. For this project I asked two boys who didn't really know each other and neither of them knew whether the other was gay or not.


Possible signs that he is falling for boys;


1. He asks you to go shopping with him.

2. He always orders drinks from the male bartender.

3. He judges how other boys and men dress or dance.

4. He wears a pink coat and is more fashionable than most women.

5. He calls you back faster than your mom.

The result is a search for their own desires in an uncomfortable situation. My presence was clearly noticeable and every step they took was clearly captured by the camera. My presence was enhanced by the flash, with each photograph. This produced a combination of tension, discovery and subtle emotions. But above all, images with real emotions.