BY Duane Wells
September 11 2009 6:05 AM ET
And how is it that you came to work with Clive Barker on Imagining Man, and what was that experience like?
I met Clive through a friend who told me Clive was looking for male models. My friend e-mailed him my website address and I got a response within a few hours.
I hadn't met Clive before the actual shoot, but we did talk on the phone. He wanted to make sure I was comfortable with the nudity and intensity of what he wanted. When I showed up for the shoot, it couldn't have gone better.
I was a little nervous at first, but Clive is so easy-oing and charming and was even open to my ideas. We became friends right away. I was not expecting that.
Being naked, covered in fake blood and dirt was not the least [bit] awkward. There was no pressure of a goal, only experimentation. Clive isn't afraid to take chances and fail, and as a result we got some of the most amazing photos!
You’re now being described as Barker’s muse for his upcoming book. Is this the first time you’ve served as the muse to a high-profile photographer?
It’s the first time I’ve done repeat shooting for someone so high-profile, though I’ve worked with other well-known photographers, Mario Testino being one.
As an out model whose look challenges the mainstream stereotypes about gay men and body image, what kind of message or statement, if any, do you hope to send?
I haven't thought too much about challenging a gay stereotype. I have tried to shy away from tattooed guy stereotypes, such as druggie or racist skinhead ... though I [do] have a small part in Bruce LaBruce’s new movie, L.A. Zombie, [where] I play a drug dealer who shoots a bunch of guys. I love Bruce though, and I don't think I need to worry about stereotypes with his audience.
I really try to just do what interests me and try not to worry so much about how people perceive me. I just want to put myself out there the way that I feel represents me best, and if some people get the wrong idea about me, well, I can’t worry about that.
- #TBT: They Died in the Closet
- These 48 Trans Women and Men Changed the World
- Op-ed: Why I Quit My Job at the United Nations
- WATCH: Obama Bundler, HRC Founder Terry Bean Arrested on Sex Crimes Charges
- Op-ed: How Gay Genius Alan Turing Got Me Through Middle School
- Smoke Signals' Gay Actor Turned Doctor Lands New Career-Defining Role