regarding Jade Esteban Estrada in ICONS: The Lesbian and Gay History of the World, Vol. 1


"Oh, Jade, my Texan treasure! You already know I adore you and am totally in your corner rooting for you every step of the way but what you might not know is what happened the night I first met you backstage before a performance I was photographing for Pride Week. I was such a nervous nelly back then. After greeting you with a weak "hello" and asking if you minded if I used my flash, you turned to me, relaxed in your seat, then said, "Sugar, I'm probably the ONLY performer who doesn't care if you flash me all night. I can perform through it so you do what you gotta do to get the shot." Then you smiled and with all the confidence in the world said, "just try not to get me RIGHT in the eyes."

Later that night, during the part of ICONS where you were portraying Michelangelo, somewhere between my hands and my eyes and my camera and my reaction time, I captured a photo of you with your hands in the air, paintbrush pointed toward the sky, with a look of wonder and excitement on your face. Looking at it now, it was the perfect shot captured in amateur quality, but back then, in that moment, it was one of the greatest photos I'd ever captured.

I later printed and framed that photo, and hung it in every house I lived in. It wasn't just a memento of your show (which was flawless and entertainingly educational); it was one of a handful of photos that I was super proud of. The color, the composition, the timing... it was a photo of one of the first times I'd managed to get everything to come together the way I imagined the photo to be instead of how I saw it through my eyes. In that photo I captured a feeling within an image, and in turn a memory, a spot in time I'd keep with me much longer than I was able to keep the photo.

I can still see it in my mind, and still to this day it reminds me that if I can dream it, and if I want it, and if I try and believe, I can make magic happen.

So this is my gift to you - the story of a young boy and his camera who quietly celebrated a personal victory in the presence of Michelangelo as the crowd looked on, unaware that the young boy's path in life had rerouted itself in his favor in the single stroke of a paintbrush and the soft click of the camera shudder."


- Troy Evans - photographer
March 10, 2014
Pensacola, FL



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