When I began the series Vagabond, I felt as though I was shedding an old skin. I came out at the age of nineteen, and as part of that journey, I had a strong desire to leave home. I starting a pilgrimage from Detroit, lived nomadically around the country until finally arriving in New York. Never feeling as though I had settled and with no roots to ground myself, I naturally sought to find home in the places and people I would meet during this four-year voyage.
In retrospect, the very beginning stages of my creativity provides a foreshadowing of the concerns and preoccupations that would inform the nature of my current work. Emerging from a context of urban decay, which is the set-dressing of my early life in Detroit, I intuitively (or perhaps out of necessity) sought stimulation in the margins. At the same time queerness, my own and the many iterations I found around me, was becoming a new lens through which I saw my work and a powerful vocabulary with which to explain the world around me. As I resisted the predictable limitations of a city in decline, I more rigorously explored the richness of its periphery and the intrigue of its subterrane. I now understand that only after these preliminary investigations in my birth city, was it possible for me to successfully migrate to places beyond and eventually develop Vagabond.