Queer & Gorgeous | Austin Boudoir Photography
I met Adam a few years ago at Bedpost Confessions, an awesome event that happens quarterly in Austin at The North Door. While I immediately fell in love with him for his wit & charm, I also felt deeply connected to him as I believe we have very similar missions in our lives.
Adam is a sex therapist, located in Austin, TX. He is kind & gentle, while also direct and realistic. We set up a lunch meeting to talk about how we could help each others clients. We met at a pizza shop off Congress and I truly felt like we could’ve stayed there & talked for hours.
I knew I wanted to treat Adam to my boudoir experience so he could speak first hand to his clients & friends about it. It takes going through this special, one of a kind experience to truly understand how important and impactful it is. If you haven’t done it yet, you just don’t get it. Plain & simple. It’s indescribable. Being in a room of women that are there solely for you. To build you up and support you while you discover your strength and sexuality. As I’ve said many times before, it’s just magical.
Queer & Gorgeous by Adam Maurer
Being a queer person in Texas can be challenging. I have gotten pretty good at avoiding people, places, and things that blatantly devalue the existence of myself and people like me. You’re unlikely to catch me at a fundraiser for Dan Patrick. LOL. Occasionally, I have been surprised by anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric that was patiently lying in wait under a thin vainer of big smiles and big hair. Honey dipped homophobia, often found in the same mouths as God fearing people who talk smack about their neighbors and clean it up with, “bless their heart.” This candy coated bigotry can make it difficult to navigate any service that might reveal a person’s gender or sexual orientation. Getting clothing tailored, going to the doctor, procuring a wedding cake, taking dance lessons with a partner; any of these situations can lead to an unpleasant outcome simply because I’m queer.
Queer folx have learned to read between the lines. We look at a business’ social media for reflections of ourselves. We check to make sure a company has gender neutral restrooms or a stated policy that people can use whichever powder room aligns with their gender. We search for a little rainbow to know it’s cool for us to use a business. It’s exhausting work, but without it there can be a great deal of heartache and headache; a devaluing of our existence that takes a toll on our psyches and self-worth. So, imagine my excitement when Elizabeth invited me to model for her. Not just model, but a boudoir photo session that highlighted my queerness. A celebration of a body that is far too often told how it should present, even by people with unresolved shame in the LGBTQ+ community. So of course I said yes, and boy am I glad I did.
Elizabeth was a gem every step of the way. From the moment we started collaborating on the shoot her enthusiasm and care shined through. A questionnaire about what I hoped to create in our photos made sure to check in on any potential challenges I might have with loving my body. Living in a world where body shaming is rampant, I was appreciative to have an open discussion about what parts of my body might be harder for me to appreciate.
We picked three words for a theme: glamour, queerness, sultry; and the next thing I knew Elizabeth sent me a link to a Pinterest page for my shoot. Together we added images that evoked what we hoped to capture in our session. I posted some pictures of Ezra Miller from the gender-fluid actor’s article in Playboy magazine and Elizabeth lit up with excitement. To be seen, completely, and celebrated was truly a gift. Elizabeth loved my ideas for playing with masculinity and femininity in my shoot. She even made sure to have Lauren there to do my makeup for some of the pictures.
As the days got closer I got more and more excited for the adventure. When I arrived I was welcomed with a personalized sign, a hug, and Beyoncé. Elizabeth took time to teach me some basics of modeling for a boudoir shoot, and made sure to hit any pose that she asked of me as we got to the business of showcasing my beauty. We did a few shots that were fresh faced, and then I was in the makeup chair for a killer eye look and snacks. The dramatic glamour eye I got was so good that I wore it for the rest of my day! We finished up the shoot, me an old pro for the second half, and set up time for a reveal.
Returning to see my fantasy come to life was truly a treat. It was wild to see myself fully expressed. As a person who hid themselves for years; who currently has to negotiate their presentation to maintain safety and have access to everyday services, it was lovely to see ALL of me celebrated. My queerness in all her glory, laid out for everyone to love. Elizabeth helped me pair down which images might work best for how I hoped to use them. A statement piece to be hung on the wall might call for a very different picture to share with my frisky friends on Grindr. She outlined all the options for showcasing our work, from prints to books, even a cute heart shaped key USB for digital copies. From the start to the end I felt so supported, seen, and sexy. The whole process was a joy. A totally wonderful way to honor the pieces of me that so many have tried to break.