Beyond the Blue Sky by Brandt Miller
Mongolia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have long been misunderstood and rejected in Mongolian society. Ignorance, misunderstanding and intolerance have led to widespread prejudice, discrimination and violence. Fear of persecution on simply the basis of one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity has forced many members of the LGBT community to hide their true selves, thereby becoming an invisible presence in a hostile world. However underground the community may be, it is nonetheless a vibrant one, full of hope, passion, dreams, and a burning desire to one day gain acceptance and recognition. They are your friends, your colleagues, your brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. They share the same goals, the same loves, the same triumphs, the same heartaches.
This exhibition gives visibility to this largely hidden group within our society, to allow them to articulate their life struggles through the medium of art. It is the first time in this country’s history that such an exhibition has been held, and it would not have been possible without the collaboration of the local LGBT community, contributions from national and international artists, and support from countless individuals committed to social change.
The artworks exhibited are designed to challenge traditional notions of gender and sexuality and to confront the harsh realities of life facing the LGBT community. In order to ensure the safety of the photographic subjects, and to also represent the hidden nature of LGBT people’s lives and their invisibility in society, their faces have been covered with blue scarves known as khadags. The use of the khadag, which traditionally covers the faces of those who have died, also symbolically mirrors the present reality in which many LGBT people feel they are not fully living.
via sexgenderbody + thegang