I surprised myself when I set out to pick 12 of my photos from 2013 that best represent the year for me.
2013 has been a year of great magnitude for me, a personal and professional struggle of nearly a decade came to pass – and for that reason, I thought the photos I chose would be full of dancing in the streets and champagne glasses – because there was a fair deal of that in my life when the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8 in California were both declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Few know the impact these laws had on me – an American woman married to an Australian woman who was denied the simple right to sponsor my wife for a green card. Our journey, like that of some 40,000 other same-sex binational couples, was an odyssey of international travel, visas, activism, bureaucracy, politics, social networks, work challenges, financial burdens and frustrations of all kinds. But it also was a “our normal”, so perhaps these photos represent my period of adjustment for a “new normal”.
About half these photos were taken before the law changed in our favor, half after. They were taken with iPhones, a broken point and shoot and an 8-year-old Canon XT Rebel DSLR – nothing fancy. They were shot at home in San Francisco and in some fantastic cities: Sydney, Madrid, New York and New Orleans – three of 12 are from that magical city that I visited for the first time in 2013. Obviously, it spoke to me.
Was I capturing a year in transition? While the year was a very good one for me personally – and my family, I was aware while putting together this collection that many people I knew did not have such a great year. There was much loss, some of it sudden. There were disappointments. Could a year with a “13” in it have brought on a subconscious bout of triskaidekaphobia – a fear of a number so embedded in our culture that it brought about bad things for good people?
Or, was it just meant to be my year? I was born on Friday the 13th. And while 2013 seemed a very long time away when I was a child, it got here before I knew it. I approached the year not as a bad one – but one that was meant to be. It was inevitable. And now it has passed.
You can see the 12 photos I chose for 2013 here. Now, I’m wondering why I didn’t pick 13?