Photographer Tom Dingley started his #Outcome project a couple of years ago, in response to his concern at the lack of positive role models for young people on the cusp of coming out. He decided to photograph LGBT people with the attributes of their everyday life – their work, or their interests; and holding a picture of themselves as a child. The message is, no matter how hard it is growing up, no matter who you were, you become who you become, and you are amazing. Several well known people are included. Two years and several exhibitions later, this is the Outcome.
The eARC that I received was full of typos that made reading the script and understanding what was being said difficult at times. The pictures were chopped up and distorted as well, so that spoiled the experience, too. However, what I did take away from this book was how much freer this community is in the UK than it seems in the US. The fact that one of the people in the book is an Army officer and the liaison for the LGBT members of the Army was amazing to me. That is a long way off for the US, if ever. Mr. Dingley seems to have chosen or found people from all walks of life to use in his book. He had teachers, dancers, poets, activists, airline pilots and even the first out MP and Cabinet Member in the world.
I thought the technique Mr. Dingley used of a stark white background brought the focus to the person very nicely. Also, having the person hold a picture of themselves as a child was very creative and clever. It pointed to the concept that all things change over time, "this too shall pass". It gives hope to those still struggling with their identity or with the consequences of it. And every single one of his subjects was smiling! These are happy, productive people. These are people who have adapted to what their life is and are content. This is a picture of a wonderful project. I would recommend this book to anyone (British, American or any other nationality) who is struggling with coming out. Also to anyone who is just curious about this community. Perhaps this will help you understand a bit better. And surely understanding is what we need to help relations. These are just people trying to live their lives. And these people seem to be doing it rather well.
I was provided an eARC by Arachne Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review