Adolescence is one of the most complicated and vulnerable times in a person’s life. I have the great privilege to be working with three brothers, my sons, who together cover the arc of time that begins as the youngest is exiting childhood and ends as the oldest is emerging as a man. Within this journey of six years, these young people will evolve from dependent to independent; from pre-sexual to sexual, from pristine and protected to somewhat weathered. They will struggle with understanding their own identities. Even as these changes occur, visible aspects exist of the people they once were and the people they have yet to become.
In this project, I am taking an intimate look at the journey of these three young men as they struggle with self-consciousness, male stereotype, and deeply entrenched binaries. Through this examination I hope to show a vision of masculinity, that even as young men become more mature, they can still be vulnerable and tender; that at each of these ages, young men can embody and embrace compassion, empathy and vulnerability.
Our society is currently struggling to understand the nature of power and the role gender plays in defining it. If we hope to live in a society where behavior is characterized by caring and empathy then we must celebrate those traits in our visions of all people regardless of gender or other physical traits.