Not a Sin, Not a Sinner
I look around and see a place familiar yet distant. A whip-lash between alienation and closeness. It holds one sense of community while completely lacking another. There is a duality within this experience that makes it not as simple as staying or leaving.
Navigating can be done in a multitude of ways. The ultimate goal being a smooth transition with minimal snagging. Within my small town, I snagged. I grappled with my queerness through a sense of bending, flowing and resisting. An experience not uncommon for small town gays.
Within the Catholic school, church and casual conversation; heteronormativity was everywhere. We were told to hate the sin, love the sinner. A contradictory statement that left no room for true self-acceptance. Surrounding me was a mix of kind and unkind people, like in any town, but there was also this palpable sense of difference. This is how I was sold ideals that felt less and less possible as I grew up. A catalyst for trying to do it right but inherently failing. It is where I learned that it’s both freeing and confining to inherently defy a mold placed upon you.
Molly Steels is a Toronto based image maker originally from Bradford, Ontario. She is currently pursuing a BFA in Image Arts and a minor in Sociology at Toronto Metropolitan University. Her practice often explores themes of vulnerability, identity and the human condition. She uses photography as a tool for self-expression, adventure and contemplating the world around her.