QUEER VOICES
03/16/2017 11:59 am ET

Photographer Captures Private Moments Of LGBTQ Icons In Stunning Color

Tom Atwood captured some of the queer community's biggest names at home.
“The primary responsibility I felt was to portray subjects as they truly are, how they really live,” Tom Atwood s
Tom Atwood
“The primary responsibility I felt was to portray subjects as they truly are, how they really live,” Tom Atwood said of his new book, which features Alan Cumming and other LGBTQ personalities. 

Photographer Tom Atwood wanted to his new book to capture George Takei, John Waters, Meredith Baxter and a host of other LGBTQ newsmakers in a more intimate light than ever before. 

So Atwood visited each of his famous subjects in their respective homes for Kings & Queens in Their Castleswhich hits retailers April 25. The finished collection, he said, took 12 years to complete and required him to travel to 30 states across the country. 

“The primary responsibility I felt was to portray subjects as they truly are, how they really live… to capture moments that reflect their everyday lives,” Atwood told The Huffington Post. “A lot of LGBTQ photography depicts scantily-clothed young subjects and seems to emphasize nudity and sexuality. I wanted to offer a different perspective.”

Many of Atwood’s subjects, such as former U.S. congressman Barney Frank and Fun Home author and cartoonist Alison Bechdel, reside far from the urban confines of New York and Los Angeles. As time-consuming as the travel was, Atwood said he didn’t want geography to limit the scope of the subjects he included, and ultimately, he found each home as fascinating as its occupant. 

Designer Christian Siriano and his<i>&nbsp;</i>husband, Brad Walsh, share an intimate moment in their New York home.&nbsp;
Tom Atwood
Designer Christian Siriano and his husband, Brad Walsh, share an intimate moment in their New York home. 

The photographer, who resides in New York, may have picked up some decor and style tips along the way, too. “Many gay men and women have a flair for design and have crafted some of the most intriguing living spaces in this country, which appealed to me aesthetically,” he told HuffPost. “For a community sometimes obsessed with image and beauty, our living spaces can also be the ultimate in self-expression... many of these subjects have crafted playful, often outlandish homes that tell stories about their inhabitants.” The book’s allusion to royalty, he said, was meant as a tongue-in-cheek metaphor. Still, he added, “Many of the subjects are ‘kings or queens’ of their professions — leading actors, writers, designers, politicians or journalists.” 

Atwood, who cited Simen Johan, Arnold Newman and David LaChapelle as artistic influences, said President Donald Trump’s rise to power makes the Kings & Queens in Their Castles “all the more necessary.” For those who support Trump, he hopes the book “reminds them that there are LGBTQ folks living in their communities who are just like them in many ways.”

Check out some photos from Kings & Queens in Their Castles below. You can read more about Atwood’s work on his official website, as well as Facebook and Twitter

  • George Takei
    Los Angeles
    Tom Atwood
    Los Angeles
  • Elizabeth Streb & Laura Flanders
    New York&nbsp;
    Tom Atwood
    New York 
  • Carson Kressley
    New York&nbsp;
    Tom Atwood
    New York 
  • Holly Taylor & Alison Bechdel
    Vermont&nbsp;
    Tom Atwood
    Vermont 
  • Barney Frank
    Newton, Massachusetts&nbsp;
    Tom Atwood
    Newton, Massachusetts 
  • Billy Porter
    New York&nbsp;
    Tom Atwood
    New York 
  • Rhea Reeves
    North Carolina&nbsp;
    Tom Atwood
    North Carolina 
  • Lydia Brown
    Washington, D.C.&nbsp;
    Tom Atwood
    Washington, D.C. 
  • Don Lemon
    New York&nbsp;
    Tom Atwood
    New York 
  • Julie Halston & Charles Busch
    New York&nbsp;
    Tom Atwood
    New York 
  • Michael Musto
    New York&nbsp;
    Tom Atwood
    New York 
HuffPost

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