Since relocating to rural, central Pennsylvania from having lived in San Francisco and Los Angeles for most of my life, I am now faced with a new question as a self-identified queer Asian man living in the rural America – how do I fit in my rural landscape amongst the white faces, red barns, and camouflage? To answer this question I create characters, style and/or construct costumes, do make up and hair, create environments, etc. myself in order to make authentic self-portraits that present queer gender performances and expressions in rural surroundings but that are largely missing from representations of rurality.

While queer gender performances and identities are becoming increasingly visible in urban settings, they remain the subaltern in a rural setting. Working primarily in the domestic space of my country home (and, often my basement), I turn the camera on myself to create characters that appropriate, blur, and satirize the constructed archetypes of masculinity and femininity.

My self-portraits showcase representations of queer identity in rural America – thus, reclaiming rurality – that are largely absent in representations of both rurality and LGBTQA communities. To be an out, self-identified queer individual and artist in rural America means to stand out from the camouflage.