“Joseph, isn’t it?” I inquired during one of our earlier Instagram conversations. This random inquiry was met with a baffling reply: “Joseph is my baptismal name. You can call me Ginger.”
Yes, homos, Ginger is his name on paper.
Ginger is a 42-year-old discreet gay whose life pretty much revolves around fashion. He adores David Gandy (so much so that he patronizes his fashion line) and talks about icons like Madonna, Versace, and Von Unwerth as if they’re close friends. As someone who lives and breathes fashion, he likes to dress up with clothes from popular brands. “I only shop for items that are on sale,” he confessed with a sly grin on his face.
Ginger is no stranger when it comes to posing for the camera and on most shoots, he would gladly put on stylish clothing for the photographers’ delight. But this time around, he half-willingly let loose of his H&M jeans and Calvin Klein briefs to pose nude for me.
“I decided to be part of this project to step out of my comfort zone,” Ginger confided as I set up the lights. True enough, most of the photos he posts on his Instagram and Facebook accounts are of him wearing anything and everything modish.
“I want to be more confident in my own skin,” he added shortly.
Truth be told, his words sounded insincere. Even his delivery suggested it, too. For someone his age, his face looks just the same as it was when he was younger, his body sculpted to be paraded, and his skin radiant still. The only thing giving his real age away would be his facial hair (which I specifically requested for the shoot). Many might find it amusing to hear such a line from a gay guy as striking as Ginger, but not me.
However, his eyes spoke of the insecurity and discomfort that his gorgeous facade tried to hide. His frightened stare gave away his doubts, and what I thought to be ingenuity was actually a mockery to his made-up self-esteem.
As I started taking photos, he also confessed how he wanted to become another person and how this shoot would serve as his escape. This I believed with all my heart. I saw it the moment he took off his reading glasses and stood in front of the light. He looked at the camera and posed, and the cheeky, good-gay Ginger I knew was gone. In his place was someone more mischievous, flirtatious, and open.
As I have come to learn, Ginger is no longer a virgin when it comes to posing nude. He has done quite a few daring shoots in the past, and he still was bold enough to tell me about his first.
It was 1997, and young Ginger had an engagement with an agent. “He promised that the VTR we were to shoot would be sent out to photographers, modeling agencies, and magazines,” Ginger recalled.
He was forced to undress and wear a yellow bikini brief two sizes smaller for him. His face crumpled to a frown as he went on with his story, clearly remembering the disgust and discomfort he had felt that day.
The agent instructed him to do quite basic poses at first, but as the shoot progressed, he was asked to execute more daring stances. He did as he was told, hoping to please the agent and get some decent shots that would land him a spot in the industry look up to with astonishment.
As he went home that same day, he was confused and doubtful about everything that had happened. He wasn’t even sure that the agent would even send the VTR out as he had promised. He felt that he only stripped for nothing – only that it was for the agent’s lustful desires alone and nothing more.
Days passed, and he did not hear from the agent again. He was disheartened and decided not to pursue a career in modeling wholeheartedly. The idea of entrusting his body, especially in its entire nakedness, to someone only to be taken advantage of is something Ginger doesn’t want to experience ever again.
Yet at the height of the Pride Month of 2017, Ginger found himself lying on the bed with his ass pushed up as high as he could, posing for me. I wonder why that is?