The Queer Portrait Project tells the stories of people in the queer community in my paint and in their words. I am painting queer-identified people and having each person write a short bio to accompany the painting. I am painting people I know and people I don’t know. I am painting gay people, bi people, trans people, non-binary people, old people, young people, outgoing people, shy people, tall people, short people…queer people. I seek to illustrate the diversity, breadth, and variety that is the queer community. I like the thought of art used as a connection and a bridge in this tight-knit, yet also disparate community. We sometimes subdivide ourselves according age, race, gender, and class. I hope to show, in the most basic of ways -images and words- how art can be action for change. We have the power to strengthen and sustain each other: as queers, as artists, as people.

If you are interested in posing for the project, send an email to jen@jenclausen.com

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I was recently asked an innocuous question by a friend. What does it means to be gay. My answer was unexpected. Although being gay is an integral part of my psyche and emotional being, its meaning has changed much throughout my life….When I was young with little concept of what gay was to me it meant hate and ridicule….As a young adult spent as a closeted man being gay meant secrets, self hate, and denial…..As an older adult with the acceptance of family and friends being gay meant awareness, discovery and love…….And now as I have gained the wisdom of my years being gay is truth of self and social responsibility. I am accountable to live my life as an open gay man. To demonstrate to the people in my community that being gay is a rich and rewarding life. I am loving, giving, respectful, and truthful. I am so many wonderful things to so many people. And one day they will realize that I too deserve to be married to the one I love.

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