NYBF Final Night: The Golden Pasties

gender, photojournalism

Last night was the final night of the 2008 New York Burlesque Festival, ending with the Golden Pasty awards. My favorite act of the night? Darlinda Just Darlinda closed the show, shimmying her way out of a star-spangled dress only to pull a photograph of Sarah Palin out of, um, a body cavity.


She subsequently ripped up the pic. If that’s not representative of New York burlesque, I honestly don’t know what is.


Radio Feature: San Francisco TransMarch

clips, gender, LBGT

A piece I reported/scripted/produced on the SF TransMarch will air on FSRN. To listen via local radio, click here to find out which station in your area airs the newscasts.

Click here to listen to my segment.

The Fifth Annual Trans March kicked off San Francisco’s Pride weekend Friday night. Starting in the Mission district’s Dolores Park, more than 30 different trans and gender-variant bands, artists and performers were featured on stage before and after the parade, which snaked through the Castro and down Market street. Erin Siegal reports.

Twentysomething LBGTQI Portrait: Emma

file under: hope, gender, LBGT


Emma was one of those people who just take your breath away- she was stunning. If there ever could be a modern day Mona Lisa, she’d be it. My film came out looking dated, underexposed, which was only partially intentional- it left me wishing I’d been shooting anything but large format, that I’d taken 100 frames instead of the 4-6 allotted for each session. 


And yes, that is a badass Emma Goldman tattoo on her chest.

Twentysomething Queer Portrait Project

gender, LBGT, unpublished work

New series! I’m shooting portraits of people who self-define as twentysomething queers/ LGBTQI.

The first portrait is Stephen.

Most of my subjects so far are friends of friends, or else have heard about the series through my amazing know-everyone friend Lisa Jervis, or through Daisy Hernandez. A few people have also answered a post on Craigslist, and are simply patient strangers willing to sit while I deathmatch my lights and 4×5 camera into submission. 


The Wylers

gender, unpublished work

What was supposed to be an hour long interview morphed into a day spent with the Wylers. This is Marvin, and his second of four wives, Charlotte. The family has 34 children and over 100 grandchildren.

Marvin’s story, like many excommunicated FDLS members, is long and tangled. Though almost everything he told me was on the record and recorded, it’s too difficult to appropriately abridge and convey here. In a nutshell, his life and some of his choices would seem immoral to much of mainstream America. But again, in terms of FDLS relations, it’s all relative.

On an odd note, he told me much more than he did to the NYT reporters who talked to his family for this story. In fact, some of what I learned actually makes information in that article factually incorrect. I understand and appreciate why Marvin didn’t tell more to the Times reporters- it’s too easy to misconstrue, and our sensationalistic American media beast would simply chew him up and spit him out.

Short Creek

gender, photojournalism, unpublished work

Short Creek is the old name for the sister cities of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona. As seen below, members of the Priesthood (alos known as the FLDS) were instructed by their prophet, Warren Jeffs, to erect fences around their homes. The purpose of the fence is twofold: to both keep “outsider” eyes out, and children in.

When Jeffs moved the “best” members to the YFZ ranch in Eldorado on 2004, he ordered those left behind to cease construction on all homes and projects back in Short Creek. The result is a smattering of unfinished buildings, throughout the towns.

I have no idea why this home has castle gates in front of it.

King of the Emo Teenyboppers

gender, mainstream media

The crowd goes crazy as PATD starts to play.

Last night I shot Panic at the Disco for Rolling Stone. The show was at the Warfield, which is San Francisco’s answer to Webster Hall, I guess. The band is made up of 19 year olds, so the crowd seemed about 98% female, and about 50% accompanied by a parent. To me, it was really interesting to watch the preteen audience, with their carefully made up young faces, tight halter tops and painstakingly ironed hair- such a difference from the punk and skacore shows I went to as a teenybopper at the old El’n’Gee in New London. I remember dragging my mom to a Checkered Cabs show once, not as a chaperone, but so she could see how much fun it was to -ahem- skank. She didn’t dance, though, but seemed content to stand along a wall and gawk at the pink mohawks.

Last night it was also kinda saddening to listen to the trained girlspeak so many teen ladies utilize…

Girl One: “Like, Brendan is sooooo hot! Like totally! I so wanna make out with him!”

Girl Two: “Yeah like totally!”

Girl One: “I wanna like MARRY him!”

Girl Two: “Totally me too like that would be SO AWESOME.”

Girls One and Two (together): “EEEEEEeeeeeeeeeee!”

There were also plenty of other sentiments ecstatically shrieked from the crowd while waiting for Panic to play their set.

“Ashley Simpson is a whore!”

“I love you MTV!”

“Hondas rule!”*

“Mom let go of my arm!”


(*Honda is Panic at the Disco’s corporate sponsor, they play advertisements for their cars to the teens before the show)

Brendan Urie, lead singer of PATD.

Here’s a photo of me at work, Perez Hilton style.

Rolling Stone arranged to have me shoot the band backstage before the show- unfortunately, their beefy security guy Zack wasn’t the friendliest character, and gave me roughly 7 minutes of access. Pretty much the whole time, the band was immersed in deep conversation about body parts of high school girlfriends tasting like fruit and the Spinal Tap reunion. One PATD member wants his next girlfriend to taste like Mango-Apricot.

Teenage ladies, get on that, stat!

The Lusty Lady

gender, mainstream media, photojournalism

On the front page of Reuters’ international site- that is, www.reuters.com– you can see the first story I’ve ever reported AND photographed. It’s called “When Strippers Take Over the Club,” and it’s a feature on San Francisco’s worker-owned, collectively-run peepshow, the Lusty Lady. 


If you can’t find it, here is the direct link to the story.

The entire picture story is here!