Picture a world where love transcends barriers, prejudice, and misunderstanding; that’s the world seen through B Proud’s lens. Guest, photographer B Proud, transports us into the heart of the LGBTQ community with her powerful and evocative images. She shares insights into her captivating projects, such as her 2014 book featuring black and white photographs of LGBTQ couples and her current visually stunning exhibit, the Transcending Love Project, celebrating transgender and gender nonconforming couples and families in vibrant color.
B Proud unearths the complexity of the transgender experience. With her Transcending Love Project, B Proud encapsulates the diversity, beauty, and resilience within the community. We delve into the creative process, the stories, and the significance of the project.
Together, we navigate the evolution of LGBTQ+ rights and representation as seen through B Proud’s lens. We use the backdrop of her work to touch upon the landmark case of Edith Windsor, whose fight for love laid the groundwork for the Obergefell decision on marriage equality. It’s not just a conversation about her photographs; it’s a conversation about the message they carry, the progress that’s been made, and the importance of keeping the dialogue alive. Join us, as we celebrate love, equality, and representation with B Proud.
About B Poud
B. Proud. It’s not a slogan. It’s the name that’s on her birth certificate, and Barbara Proud says that it’s a name that she has to live up to.
As both a commercial and fine art photographer, B. Proud has exhibited her work in solo and group shows around the globe. A career highlight was photographing President Barack Obama and Lady Gaga on the same day. She is an Adjunct Professor in the Photography Department at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, and faculty at the International Center of Photography (ICP), New York.
B. Proud’s current work is a series of socially conscious documentary projects focused on the LGBTQ+ and transgender communities. First Comes Love is a traveling exhibition of photographs, stories, and videos of couples in long-term relationships. When the mainstream publishers refused to take on the project, Barbara forged ahead and self-published the coffee table book First Comes Love: Portraits of Enduring LGBTQ Relationships, with a foreword by icon Edie Windsor. A compilation of stunning black & white portraits and stories of 65 couples, the book has received two gold medal awards. First Comes Love has been exhibited in New York City, Philadelphia, Delaware, Washington state, Washington, DC, Seattle, Minneapolis, Florida, Berlin, Germany, and Athens, Greece. A Circle of Diamonds, a film about Edie Windsor’s diamond “engagement” pin that Proud shot, edited, and co-produced with local Philadelphia artists/composers/musicians Michael Biello and Dan Martin, has been included in more than 20 film festivals worldwide.
Continuing in her role as artist/activist, the sequel project, Transcending Love, is a current work in progress and is focused on transgender and gender nonconforming couples across the country in an attempt to open hearts and minds to a community deserving of understanding, respect, and basic human rights. Traveling to 24 states to date, Proud is determined to make a difference, if only by changing one mind at a time. A section of this project, Say Their Names, highlights the violence against the transgender community. Work from this project is currently traveling the Netherlands for six months.
Proud’s projects have received grants from the B.W. Bastian Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, The University of the Arts, and the Delaware State Arts Council, who recently awarded her the state’s exclusive Masters Fellowship. Her work is included in the Weeks Gallery, Jamestown, NY, the Delaware Art Museum, Eastman Kodak, the Center for Photography Woodstock, Haverford College, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and private collections.
B. Proud lives in Wilmington, DE, with her wife, Allison, and two dogs, Soleil and Cosette.