That has been my mantra regarding my fellow human beings for decades now. You just never know what someone has been through, is going through, or is about to go through. It is those five words that have helped me to be more accepting, understanding and compassionate in my dealings with other people.
Being bi-racial and adopted by an American Indian and Irish family has given me the gift of insight, as well as focus towards the things that most people tend to overlook – finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, if you will. Being raised on a farm in rural Michigan helped me appreciate the peace, quiet, beauty and awe of Mother Nature, whether it was harvesting and canning crops, or lying on a blanket and gazing into the infinity of the Milky Way Galaxy.
At a young age I knew that I was different. It wasn’t until puberty hit that I realized that I was gay. I prayed, cried, raged to have that terrible curse to be removed from me – even contemplated suicide as a teenager. It wasn’t until I left home that I accepted myself and came out to my friends and family – that was the day I became a man.
The circumstances, people, opportunities that have enveloped my life for the past half century has given me a natural gift to capture moments frozen in time – each photograph a humble reminder of where I have come from, where I am, and where the next adventure awaits.