As a photographer my focus is on layers, both visual and metaphoric, that exist in any given scene or with any subject. In my series, Queen, I explore this idea, perhaps more literally than with my previous projects, through layers of makeup, feminine undergarments, perfectly placed padding, and a shift towards an over-the-top feminine energy.

The pairing of images before, during, and after the backstage transformation process emphasizes the duality that exists of a person in their most raw form and that which they present to others. The same can be said of all of us, going about our daily lives. With drag queens the presentation process is much more pronounced.

And though some layers manifest quite literally in my photographs, so too does the subject matter evoke an under-the-surface element, one often villainized, especially in a highly polarized southern state.

Queen puts our own prejudices, our own insecurities, our own need to put people, especially those that are different from us, into classifications we can understand. We categorize to make us feel more comfortable because when we understand something we no longer feel threatened by it. But when you start to peel back the layers, what is below is simply humanity. Humanity is layered. It is painful. It is beautiful. It is all of the things, simultaneously. Queen is an exploration of humanity.