In almost every insult fired towards me on a daily basis on whichever platform it’s being spoken on, the words “faggot” or “fag” seem to always have a heavy presence. “Nice pants faggot”, “They’re a bunch of emo fags” or just a simple “what a fucking faggot” are a small fraction of the criticism I’ve received over the years.
Ignorance seems to be a driving force these days in the development and evolution of the human race, and I’m finding out more and more that people really are afraid of what they don’t understand. I had these photo’s taken by my good friend Nicole (gAk Photography) and had this idea in the hope of being a voice, a representative and a leader for those who face the same treatment as I do because of the way they look, their sexuality or any other personal preference they choose to have that their opposers find unfitting for their world of normality. I am a firm believer that you don’t have to look different to BE different. I think that being different is moreso a frame of mind than anything aesthetically, and that taking it upon yourself to grab hold of the strength of mind to put yourself out there to be ridiculed for being who you really are IS the personification of the word “different”. Something I support with every ounce of myself that I have to give.
In my case, and in the case of a lot of our/my fans it’s generally based on the way we look. OF COURSE I understand that when you do something like that, that you’re going to have to deal with the criticism, I’m not stupid and naive to think that I’d be able to walk into a Wal-Mart with tattoos, piercings and make-up on and have everyone greet me with a smile on their face. That’s certainly not how the world works. People are generally afraid of things that aren’t what they have been told are normal, or in some cases what their faith tells them isn’t correct (see my friend William Control’s essay for more awesome reading on that subject) and their most natural defense against it is to lash out in anger. What bothers me most is how condescending their comments are, as if because I wear eyeliner I must be stupid and a fuck up degenerate, when really they fail to realize that their ignorance is the purest form of stupidity and a severe insult to their intelligence. Fucking Idiots.
I did a speech before “Abigail” when we played it on Warped Tour where I had people raise their middle finger in the air if they had ever once in their life felt what it’s like to be lashed out at. “If someone tells you that you’re too fat, too ugly, to stupid, not good enough, or calls you a faggot, you take that middle finger, you put it in their face and you tell them to Go. Fuck. Yourself.”
These photos are my middle finger to a world that refuses to listen. Fuck You.