“I Love You Too” … Winners of the All Out & MTV Photo Award 2021!


I Love You Too

Kemang Wa Lehulere spent Manchester International Festival 2019 in residence within Manchester’s network of libraries. Two years on, “I Love You Too” is a multifaceted artwork inspired by the South African artist’s time in the city.

The installation is in the Reading Room of Manchester Central Library. There is also a book of the same name. People across Manchester were invited to share their love stories: to people, to places, even to possessions. A group of eleven Manchester writers put their words on to the page. The result is a powerful and personal book of love letters rooted in our city.

Two members of Out In The City were chosen for the book:

A love story told by David Rhodes

Our Tree in Tatton Park – Written by Dominic Berry

I take a trip to Tatton Park

where there’s a special tree

beside the lake and White Poplar.

A place for you and me

beneath the planes on sky-high trips

to luscious sands and sea,

to mountains in Malaysia

where we went on holiday,

to Borneo, where we saw

wild Orangutans at play,

to India’s bright, blazing sun

while Britain’s dark and grey.

I met you at line dancing

just a pair of Prairie Dogs.

You sang me songs from musicals,

performed their monologues.

We stared into each other’s eyes.

Our heartbeats leapt like frogs!

To find a love as true as ours

is an eternal treasure,

and I cannot thank you enough

for all our years of pleasure.

The songs we sung, our trips abroad,

The smiles too wide to measure.

Now when my life is difficult

and days get grey and dark,

I have a place where I can go,

to still embrace your spark.

I watch the sky and stand beside

our tree in Tatton Park. 

From Cliff Edge to Shore – Written by Louise Wallwein

The distance between cliff edge to shore was a long walk.

That day we sat down at the end of the pier,

The sea a mile out

Catching the last of the Autumn sun.

The weather on the turn

I didn’t notice the cold

Your magnetism pulled me towards you.

Love like ours come once every Preston Guild.

I never thought I would find you.

I looked into your eyes and my world opened up,

You opened my eyes to the tune of the

Ride of the Valkyries.

Cuddled up together listening to the entire Ring Cycle for 15 hours.

You make my world spectacular.

We have travelled to places

Linked armed embraces,

The dream right now is to be

With you on the sofa.

Me and you sailing closer together.

In your company I am at ease with myself,

to be able to express myself

How we can cry together

It is exactly who you are that attracts me to you.

You are completely yourself.

When I think of you being camp

My heart bursts open.

That afternoon at the karaoke

Hitting that final note

I brought the house down

You, pushing your way through the cheering crowd

Right there in front of everyone

We kissed.

Your pride in me, makes me grow

Gives me strength

To stand up for myself.

I never thought my true love would be a man.

With you I am free.

I am always thinking about you. I love you.

Winners of the All Out & MTV Photo Award 2021!

The All Out and MTV Photo Award was launched on 17 May – the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

Inspired by this year’s theme “Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing!”, the competition called on photographers to share unique photos that capture how LGBT+ people and their communities and allies around the world resist attacks and discrimination, support each other in these difficult times, and heal together.

The winning photos were displayed on screens in Times Square, New York City during Pride celebrations. They will also be featured at World Pride Copenhagen and at exhibition spaces across the world.

The international jury of renowned photographers viewed over 1,800 photos by more than 380 photographers from over 60 countries. They were impressed by the diversity of photos submitted: photos from around the world that capture both the beauty, resilience and vibrancy, but also the pain, resistance and isolation of so many different LGBT+ communities.

Choosing the winners in each of the three categories was no easy feat. Based on the criteria – expression of the theme, inspirational power, originality, and composition – the jury chose the following winners and runners-up.

Category: Resisting

Winner: Cansu Yıldıran, Turkey – Title: Kurdish trans women

“Rukan and Hejar, two Kurdish and LGBT+ activists kiss at a Women’s Day protest in Kadıköy on 6 March 2021. After the protest they were violently arrested and put under custody for 24 hours. A trial resulted in house arrests and a ban on leaving the country. This shows how the Turkish government imposes strict discrimination against trans women and LGBT+ people.”

Runner Up: Younes Mohammad, Iraq – Title: Adam

“Adam, 32 years old, far away from his home. No one would give him a job because he’s LGBT+. Someone tried to kill him by stabbing him with a knife in his stomach, and he doesn’t feel safe yet.”

Runner Up: Erica Voget, Argentina – Title: The real does not fade

“Resistance in the context of confinement. Diversity Pavilion. Buenos Aires, Argentina.”

Category: Healing

Winner: Hao Nguyen, Canada – Title: Bonita & Midor

“I photographed Bonita and Midori for a queer Asian collective called, “New Ho Queen.” The theme was snow pea, but I didn’t know how to wrap my head around it. I was also coping with heartbreak and other traumas, so the original idea shifted into healing through others.”

Runner Up: Gøneja, Italy (based in Germany) – Title: Lea Rose

“Lea Rose’s water ritual.”

Runner Up: Georgia Niara, Brazil – Title: Aquilo que importa (That which matters)

“Ingrid Martins and Gabriellê.”

Category: Supporting

Winner: Inésio Samuel, Mozambique – Title: Fearless

“Fearless men, walking holding hands.”

Runner Up: Emilia Martin in collaboration with Magdalena Ignaczak and Daria Jonc, Poland (based in the Netherlands) – Title: Magda and Daria

“I met Magda in a hip hop class, when we were still kids. A space so extravagant and unusual for girls growing up in the Eastern European culture of early post-communism, patriarchy, catholicism and practicality. Magda grew up in a small mining town dominated by male culture, right wing politics and patriarchy, where men worked in mines, or as policemen, and women looked after houses.

A landscape shaped by overwhelming economical struggles and violence. In our early teenage years she shaved half of her head, dyed the other half and told me her dream: “One day, I’ll be dancing for Justin Bieber videos and tours”. Magda and Daria met on Instagram, and very soon, fell in love. The lack of compromise in the way they chose to live their lives has always been to me an act of great bravery.”

Runner Up: Mike Kear, United Kingdom – Title: Untitled

“Around the campfire at Queer Spirit Festival – a celebration of the love, passion and creative spirit of the LGBTQ+ community. Queer Spirit is the synergy formed by bringing together many views, experiences, beliefs, philosophies and ways of being that have queerness and spirituality at their core. It is a cauldron of queer vitality connecting the worlds, exploring energy, nature & love.”

One thought on ““I Love You Too” … Winners of the All Out & MTV Photo Award 2021!

  1. Loved the stories (poems) by David and Normski about love…when you know people its more touching…I seem to have hay fever as my eyes are watering after reading them this morning. hugs Pauline xxx


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