We chose to shoot the Ace of Wands. It represents a lot of what I am for. Being open to new opportunities, not really turning down new opportunities. Anything that is changing. Keeping open to new things that come your way. I think queer tarot is important cos there are so many stories out that from the LGBTQIA community that are completely untold, and even when we are in the media, they want to zone in on stories that they think is important.
Where are in out of the bog now, but we were in the bog that is a few fields from my house. We’re in the middle of Ballina, well actually we’re in the Cloghans which is the countryside. (Which is sooooo BEAUTIFUL) and we have an audience of cows. The bog is significant to me because we’d always play here as kids, my mum can see from the house down here. She could always see what we were doing, and it was always a great place to come as kids, because your imagination can go wild anywhere. All the creatures and animals, I was big into different animals that people in the town wouldn’t really get to experience, like frogs, newts, I used to love newts. Butterflies, dragonflies – oh and ticks!
I would tell my younger self that the first time relating to the card, is also your first time doing a photoshoot. It’s something that is really meaningful, and I’m definitely not going to forget it for the rest of my life. Be completely open, communication and being open to that. It will help push everything forward. Don’t see sexuality as a taboo anymore, don’t see sex as a taboo any more, be completely open with yourself and with people around you. It’s a lot easier than you think to be open, and it helps you deal with everything too. (In background a cow tries to get through a broken fence) – That’s me trying to get through life.
Do it, don’t think about it twice. If you have to think about something twice, then you’re not living life. Life is unexpected, you’re not supposed to know what your future holds, so why would you go out of your way and try and make your life a certain way. Try everything, don’t stop your self and put your self in a position where you’re only doing one thing all the time.
At the age of 11 I was sexually assaulted, now I’m completely open about it, but I think Neon, my drag character, has been a big help to try and get through it. It was something that I’d always hidden away from, but at the age of 16 when I came out, it was something I was more open with when people would talk to me about it. I found that being open myself helped others as well. The drag really helped me, to be able to put what ever I was feeling on the inside, on the outside in this creative being that. Make up for me as well is the same. I hate it when it’s in a job because you’re sitting there, you’re doing the same thing, where as when I’m at home and I’m doing my make up it’s completely different. It’s my feelings, its not something meaningless. It’s something I feel on the inside on my face.*
*Transcription of audio interview.
I visited Ireland in 2018 with my brother and traveled from Cork to Dublin and did two shoots on this journey. Even the bus ride up to Mayo from Gallway then to Ballina then the odd local taxi driver ride was wonderful. Possibly the only local taxi? We walked to the dock on the loch nearby and then down to the bog and the field of delightfully friendly, curious cows – although slightly intimidating en masse. To be in a country irish farmhouse with all their dogs and soooo many cats was an experience I will never forget. I am glad and thank full to Neon for answering my random call out looking for queers to shoot on this journey.
The Ace of Wands – Bradley/Neon Love – he/him/she her – Queer
While I was there we also recorded a podcast episode – Enjoy!