This is my portrait of Sruti Swaminathan. She grew up with South Indian parents who migrated to the United States from Madras, India in 1985. This photograph was taken when she was 22 years old. Part of my ongoing portrait series, Children of Immigrants.
_____________________ “I place a large emphasis on cultural identity in my life. I feel very comfortable and am proud to call myself Indian, but I think it is very easy to lose touch with your roots when you don't have a community. I have personally experienced that, being a queer, masculine-presenting South Indian person. The number of friendships I have personally cut off due to a fear of rejection, the number of family members I have kept in the dark about my identity, the tension I feel when I step into the Hindu Temple in Flushing, Queens only to have every pair of eyes following my every movement, bewildered by the shaved sides of my head and the patterned button-down I am sporting. I have been able to salvage a connection to my culture by enjoying its food, speaking its language, and playing its music. But as someone who craves human connection, it is difficult to stomach my inability to find accepting community.” Photo by: @quetzalitaa
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