You explore gender and sexuality a lot in your work. How did you get into photography and how did you develop your own point of view?
When my dad passed away, I used it as a form of therapy. I was already exploring photography, but not seriously, and when that happened, I needed a creative outlet. I went to study Fashion Styling at the University of Salford, with a focus on photography. I started photographing naked women – friends and people I was sleeping with – because I didn’t know what I wanted to say with my work. My tutor at the time saw that I was exploring sexuality, even before I realised that’s what I was doing. Then I went to intern for the photographer Richard Kern, who does a lot of nude photography, and he told me I should do something about being queer, because nudity wasn’t as interesting anymore. Originally, I started a collective for women, non-binary people and femmes called Moist. We did club-nights, events like queer speed-dating, poetry nights, exhibitions, residencies with Islington Mill. But it felt like a lot of work, and I realised if I was going to do something, it had to be in my own way.
Where did the idea for Queer Letters come from?
When I was growing up, I didn’t have something to relate to. I realised after Moist that I wanted to create a space where queer people could feel seen and understood. That’s how Queer Letters started. I applied for funding from Superbia, Manchester Pride’s year-round culture programme, in June 2018. It’s just grown from there. I got more funding from Arts Council England in January, which means I can pay everyone involved. It feels really good, knowing I can pay people, and I think it incentivises people to take part as well. The funding also included dyslexia support, which is so helpful.