Have any of you heard about this? A student at Brigham Young University came up with what I thought was a fantastic project for his art class. He took portraits of two individuals (one gay, one straight supporter) and placed them next to one another. He didn’t identify either of them. His explanation of the project:
These portraits are of students of BYU who identify themselves as homosexual and a person that supports them. With all of the dissenting views regarding this topic in the past few months I have felt very strongly about this project. The portraits will be shown in pairs. The idea is that there are gay and lesbian individuals not only in the Mormon culture, but also at BYU. I also chose to photograph someone who is a support to this person. This could be a family member or friend. […]
I am not telling the viewer who identifies themselves as homosexual, because I hope the viewer will realize that placing a label with the portrait only creates divisions in our society and furthers stereotypes.
Here’s an example:
But university officials recently took the pictures down, because they opposed the subject matter, the student explains:
Apparently the topic of homosexuality is a bit much for the BYU audience and my part of our Fine Art Classes show was taken down today. It seems that censorship is favored over support and love.
For the record, I obviously support BYU’s freedom to control and censor. It is a private religious institution, and those who chose to attend the university must account for the type of education that they will recieve and the ideas (or lackthereof) to which they will be exposed. Personally, I would question how anyone could recieve a real ‘education’ at an institution that finds something even this tame not worthy of public viewing. For those of you Univerisy of Illinois alums, I don’t think our “I-Change” campaign would have lasted 10 seconds out west. Oy.