Behind the Lens: Capturing the Voice of Pride

Last year ASLUT teamed up with Real Age Works and The Studio to present our first LGBTQ+ Pride Community Mural. The mural spanned several yards in length, brought together many artistic styles and many voices in the city of Tulsa and photographer and artist Serae “Miss Irie Blues” Avance was there to capture the moment. The raw footage she captured would come to be known as The Voices of Pride Series

This compelling video series was created by happenstance.

“I was asked via social media by Real Age Works to do some photography for the event,” Sarae said. “Of course I was honored to have been asked, but instead of doing traditional event photography, I kind of wanted to put some more substance, and just purpose, behind the photographs that we were taking.” 

The Pride Mural brought out Tulsa’s best in terms of artistry, diversity and range of experience. 

“I thought to myself, you know, this will be an awesome intimate experience to get to know the people who are here in Tulsa, who are a part of the community,” Miss Irie Blues tells us.

Shooting straight from the hip alongside photographer Gabie Castaneda, Serae began to gather stories of attendees, taking note of their roles not only at the mural, but in their communities at large. She mentions how her interview with Dison opened her eyes to how many dope people are making waves here in Oklahoma. Dison is under 30, works for one of the most powerful companies in the state and leads queer and actvisit causes. They even work to bringing books to inmates in Oklahoma.

When I asked Serae what the biggest takeaway from this series is. She says, “Humanness.” 

“Humaneness,” she said. “In the acceptance that people are different, and that people’s life experiences have shaped them. We should lead with love first because you never know what someone may have been through. And you never know how cool they may be, once you just hear them speak.” 

You can view the Voices of Pride Series on our Youtube. Tap in with Serae for details on her FEMININE = RIGHT online exhibit @missirieblues