Inside the Intimate New York Photography Exhibition Celebrating Queer Chosen Families


On this, Nitchun’s collaborator—the cofounder of Trnk, Tariq Dixon—firmly agrees. “As corny as this may sound, love is a universal language,” he says. “That’s the one emotion that we all experience and pursue and yearn for, and I think we’ve been reminded of that over the past year in so many ways. The idea of chosen family comes about because love and connection can’t always be assumed in our biological families, and I think it’s important to remind each other that we’re all similar and have that shared yearning to be loved, to be held, to experience intimacy. It’s something universal, something that you just viscerally understand.”

As one of the first projects that Nitchun has undertaken since arriving at the Leslie-Lohman, the “Chosen” exhibition speaks to her vision for the future of the museum. (Alongside the physical exhibition, which will see a rotating lineup of four pairs of artists presented in dialogue across eight weeks, there will also be an online display of the art for those unable to make the show in person.) A longtime friend of Dixon’s, Nitchun was particularly inspired by “Mien,” an exhibition that Dixon premiered on the Trnk platform during Pride last year, when it came to planning for Pride month 2021. “Mien” featured photographs by queer artists of color available at accessible price points, and all proceeds were donated to the Ali Forney Center to combat LGBTQ+ homelessness in New York City. 

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