Gentle, Manly is a photographic project which captures straight men being affectionate with one another.
In our society, it’s still not quite acceptable for men to be gentle, soft and sensitive without their masculinity being questioned. The intention of Gentle, Manly is to promote the concept that all humans, regardless of gender deserve access to the full spectrum of human emotion and self-expression.
Gentle, Manly was started in April 2017 and is a collaborative project by Jeremy Seghers, Elar Institute and Macbeth Studio. Jeremy Seghers is an independent producer and director whose primary focus is staging immersive, site-specific theatre in unique locations. The Elar Institute produces entertainment, education and social projects which promote emotional intelligence, self-expression and communication. Macbeth Studio provides photography and videography in Orlando and beyond.
The feminist movement paved the way for women to have full access to the spectrum of self-expression - making it acceptable for a woman to be sensitive and powerful, nurturing and independent. It’s counterpart for men has, however, not been established. In our society, it’s still not quite acceptable for men to be gentle, soft and sensitive without their masculinity being questioned. The intention of this project is to promote the concept that all humans, regardless of gender deserve access to the full spectrum of human emotion and self-expression. And that this personal freedom leads to increased compassion and peace within society.
Gentle, Manly begins with a call for straight, male participants to be photographed showing platonic affection for one another - holding hands, leaning on one another, embracing, etc. So far, three photoshoots have been held. Next, we're working on producing a public event to share the printed photographs. Aside from this public viewing, the photographs will be shared online through social media. Greater positive change happens the more we are exposed to messages that free us.
This photographic collection, of straight men, expressing connection, bond, and friendship is only the beginning. The Elar Institute is developing programming to bring all kinds of people together to learn about and express feelings in a safe and appropriate space. These workshops and courses will be announced in the coming months.