“It’s important to put yourself before others. I stayed in the closet because I didn’t want everyone around me to feel uncomfortable, but then I realised that I couldn’t keep putting others before myself, ‘cause that’s unhealthy.”
Safety, a word often underestimated by the structures of today, but not by Ben and Matt at Anti Agency who were photographed by Nicola Collins and interviewed by Cecilie Harris for Boys By Girls Issue 12 “Young Hearts”. They met in a safe space, both longing to flourish and seek acceptance. They finally found each other.
Photographer Nicola Collins captures the calming relationship between the two boys in this extended online editorial through delicate lighting and explicit intimacy. Gentle touches are frozen within the pictures, whether enveloped in colour or drained off into black and white - no image is without love. Nicola’s lens encapsulates their relationship at the most intimate, but also reveals that utmost loneliness for these two would be to exist without the other. Their vulnerability is only witnessed in those brief moments where they are separate from each other.
Abena Ofei embraces their openness through her choice of garments. T-shirts from The Kooples that don’t cling to the skin, jeans with an excess of movement from Palm Angels, and shirts from Hugo Boss that exposes the skin to the touch of the sun. Fabrics that allow them their space to breathe provide the boys with a safe haven to be forever comfortable in their own skin. They have become each other’s safety net, and are now allowing us to engage in the beauty that is they.
Experience Ben and Matt’s full interview in Boys By Girls Issue 12 ‘Young Hearts’, which is available to buy in selected stores and online now.