Launching in 2015, My People | My Tribe is a community group focused on telling and sharing LGBTQ+ stories that educate, enlighten and inspire.
The overall goal of My People | My Tribe is to show that whilst you may not have found your tribe yet, there is community out there waiting to receive you with open arms. By showcasing the lived experiences of real LGBTQ+ people My People | My Tribe endeavours to create media that reflects who you are. Seeing content about you, for you, enables us as LGBTQ+ people to feel validated. To feel that our lives matter. It is our similarities and our differences that have the power to unite and strengthen us as a community.
To me, Mardi Gras is in my blood. Mardi Gras was the catalyst for me to find out what a gay person was. Mardi Gras was where my parents had their very first date and so to me being involved with Mardi Gras was always meant to be. I have been going as a spectator since I was a child and haven’t missed a parade in the last decade!
My first time participating in the Mardi Gras parade was to commemorate my parents 30th anniversary and I have been on a float every year since. For me Mardi Gras is my happiest time of year, they don’t call it Gay Christmas for nothing. It is this magical window of time where anything is possible. The intolerances of the world seem to be suspended and the hearts of many are open and willing to embrace the LGBTQ+ community and the rainbow of people that that includes.
The fact that Mardi Gras have chosen my project, #barenakedtruth, to illustrate the festival this year is beyond an honour. I was always hopeful that one year there might be a chance that part of my face might appear in the background of one of the Mardi Gras promotional images so to go from that to having #barenakedtruth as the face of the festival is huge and awe inspiring. The whole process of having the project chosen and being involved with Mardi Gras exemplifies the spirit of collaboration that I value so highly and that is key to the work I do with My People | My Tribe.
The #barenakedtruth photos would not be possible without the collaboration of photographers, participants and all of those willing to help spread the stories. I continue to collaborate with photographers and participants from all over the world and am so excited for what will be a stunning Mardi Gras 2017!
- Josh Feeney