lgbtq+ history month at sweet lorain


photo by tonya singer

How can anyone truly embody LGBTQ+ History Month in one photo story? Every wardrobe, accessory, photo concept or makeup style can lead to historic LGBTQ+ icons and their legacy to our modern world. The essence of this shoot was to capture the bliss of identity—each garment of clothing represented by different eras inspired by the equal rights movement. Protesting was prominent for proclaiming one’s truth, the right to proper protection and simply living in peace. Amid constant discrimination, our LGBTQ+ community consistently curates global culture and demonstrates joy and community values. 

The direction of the shoot is also inspired by sexual exploration within classic and modern looks, in which many experience a time of discovery in one’s body’s mystery and sexiness. We are inspired to realize that our bodies are the space in every room, the mark on a silent crowd and the “keep watching” as hair is flipped through the wind of the oppressor. 

For this editorial shoot, we wanted to also embody nostalgia as a reminder to the history behind the LGBTQ+ community but also showcase the community as it is represented today. In the early stages of the Gay Liberation movement, to stand out in the crowd was to protest for your rights as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. This developed into a very powerful movement with some incredible leaders such as Marsha P. Johnson, Audre Lorde and many more. Those who paved the way for the community showed bravery, resilience and confidence. We wanted to capture these characteristics of the LGBTQ+ community in this shoot. With bold clothing and color combinations, bright lighting and an intimate sense of togetherness, we channeled the history and current standing of the community. We created a unified scene for both the community’s past and present. 

 A Magazine also would like to show our great appreciation and gratitude to Sweet Lorain, located at 7105 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, OH 44102. Sweet Lorain is a highly successful vintage department store proclaimed through social media highlights and recognized through publications. Its doors have been open for 11 years, by the owner, Rewin Lewis. Lewis’s motto is “Follow your bliss,” which we believe matches this photoshoot’s internal concept. Sweet Lorain is one of the very few places in the country that is strictly vintage, in which Lewis decides what is truly vintage when he interacts with sellers. Take some time and visit this astounding business with your friends and family!


Hi, I’m Grace Avery, a senior fashion merchandising student from Columbia, Maryland! I’m also the editor-in-chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are full of passion and aspiration as we commit our work to bring you the most meaningful and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty, and culture. Our team is full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow our community into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.