“There was this woman at the last dance who was like, ‘I don’t care what anyone thinks!’” recounts photographer Ethan James Green, sitting on a park bench near his apartment in lower Manhattan. “She screamed it while I was taking her picture.”
Green is quite young (27) and best known for capturing a very youthful downtown underground scene, so it’s slightly surprising that he spends his free time hanging around LGBT senior center dances, taking black-and-white prom-esque portraits of the elderly attendees. His subjects may be old, but in front of his camera they seem anything but. They flirt, they flex, they cavort, they make out, they goof off. “It’s almost like we’re on a fashion shoot,” says Green. “People really show up. They get to have fun, not care, just be who they are and not think twice about it.”
The subjects he shot for Vogue attended two of these dances. The first, last fall in Brooklyn, was hosted by GRIOT Circle, a 21-year-old organization dedicated to serving the needs of elder LGBT people of color (its motto: “We don’t do bingo!”). The second, this spring at the Copacabana on West 47th Street, was a fundraiser in support of SAGE, a national services and advocacy group founded in New York in 1978.
Three decades ago, when SAGE organized its first women’s dance, Jerre Kalbas, then a sprightly near-septuagenarian, manned (or rather, womaned) the door. In those days, she remembers, “we were still very frightened, very hidden.” Now 99, Kalbas walks with a cane and wears gloves to ameliorate the pain of acute carpal tunnel in her hands. She can’t dance (“Not these fancy dances!”), but she’s still showing up. “I love to see all the women dancing,” she says. “I mean: It’s amazing.”
Hi there :) I love your take on andreil and I wondered if you would write something about Andrew being jealous/possessive of Neil? I always read fics where it's Neil in this situation.. thank u!! :)