This photo series was shot by Kuru Selvarajah and creatively directed by me, Mirusha Yogarajah. The models in the images are Nivake Sukumar and Ravishan Thanarajah.
Brown Boys Do Cry aims to address how comfort with notions of femininity and masculinity allows brown boys to be their whole selves. Self-identified boys can embrace the truest forms of themselves if they dismiss notions of masculinity that are commonly waged in the South Asian community. The marvel of masculinity dictates so much of how men reinforce forms of patriarchy and violence onto others and onto themselves. Sexual assault, domestic violence, alcoholism, and gendered forms of work are intensely reinforced within the South Asian community. I saw this within my beautiful boy cousins who remain so tender and so wonderful, but are constantly told that painting their nails or wearing pink is explicitly for women. They were also told that their duties were to make an income and sustain a family, and were exempt from learning domestic duties, unlike their sisters.
I want to show the beauty of brown skinned men being able to dismiss gendered ideas. I want them to caress flowers, make milk tea for themselves, wear whatever colors they desire, and adorn South Asian jewelry and pottus. Brown boys do cry, and they don’t need to cry through violence or a masked face. They can be free.