Guilherme da Silva captures the vulnerability and power of the LGBTQIA+ community

This image is the pinnacle to the imagery that Guilherme strives to make. Throughout his caring and celebratory practice, he documents friends and people he’s met online – people from the LGBTQIA+ community that he’s part of. “It’s very sensitive to talk about that, you know, living in a country that kills most LGBTQIA+ people (mostly trans women) in the world is very hard; it’s a cultural, systemic problem that we have to fight against everyday,” the photographer tells It’s Nice That. But through his impactful practice, Guilherme is thrashing the white, straight cisgender-dominated industry. In doing so, he keeps his commercial work separate from personal projects, meaning that his own pieces form as a “safe and sacred space inside of me”; a place to present his friends how they are, “with their own clothes, lying in the grass in the park, being vulnerable and empowered at the same time.”
Guilherme da Silva first met his friend Cecilia when they were teenagers on the internet. They dated for a few months (although Cecilia didn’t go by that name at the time), spending hours on the phone talking about their obsession with movies, The Virgin Suicides being one of their favourites. They wanted to connect and take pictures in a hotel room – “we never did” – and instead broke up by email “in the most teenage dramatic way”, he shares. “We ghosted each other.” After ten years had passed, Cecilia finally responded to him on Facebook, asking if he knew who she was. “I connected her last name to the person I knew before,” explains Guilherme. “It was a relief, she told me she had transitioned and she named herself Cecilia after a Virgin Suicides’ character.” Finally, they met in Sao Paulo for a coffee, where Guilherme is currently based. The result of which is a vibrant shot of Cecelia grinning, the first of his ongoing park series. “We say our story is almost like an Almodovar movie.”

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