THE IDENTITY PROJECT
a portrait of the LGBTQ+ community
After more than 20 years working for various LGBTQ+ media, the Identity Project was conceived in 2019 to redress the unhealthy bias of the visual narrative in mainstream media that LGBTQ+ people look a certain way.
By exhibiting in public places, this collection of the diverse faces of the LGBTQ+ community aims to reduce stereotypes in the wider public by challenging assumptions of what this marginalised demographic looks like, and give young queer people and those from marginalised backgrounds role models to look up to.
Homophobic and transphobic hate crime continues to be a blight in our society. Hate is often motivated by the unknown, and by displaying these portraits and stories, the project will help improve community cohesion through making visible the depth and similarities in the identities we share.
IDENTITY is an ongoing project to document and share the stories of the LGBTQ+ community as we still remain unseen and unheard in many places. The project has had some amazing feedback – if you would like to be involved in future exhibitions and publications, get in touch through the website.
The Identity Project has been exhibited numerous times. Each installation is unique with a different curation of participants and different methods of display. Past exhibitions include:
21 Feb – 30 April 2023: PlusX Innovation Hub, Brighton. Solo exhibition.
an installation of 90 portraits from the Brighton & Hove Edition for LGBTQ+ History Month – extended to the end of April by popular demand.
06 Feb – 17 March 2023: Jubilee Library, Brighton. Solo exhibition.
an installation of 90 portraits from the Brighton & Hove Edition for LGBTQ+ History Month – extended by 3 weeks by popular demand.
04 – 26 October 2022: Barbican Library, Barbican Centre, London. Group exhibition.
an installation of 300 portraits displayed in a vitrine as part of the RE:FRAMED exhibition by the City of London and Cripplegate Photographic society.
31 May – 26 June 2022: Espace Canopy, Paris, Solo exhibition.
a selection of portraits installed for Paris Pride Month.
01 – 28 Feb 2022: PlusX Innovation Hub, Brighton. Solo exhibition.
a selection of portraits installed for LGBTQ+ History Month.
08 – 12 Nov 2021: Federation of Gay Games Annual General Assembly, Mercure Hotel, Brighton. Solo exhibition.
commissioned as a solo exhibition throughout the host venue, the Mercure Hotel, for the duration of the conference, and was presented on digital screens and online for those still unable to travel due to the pandemic.
01 Nov 2021 – 31 Jan 2022: The Ledward Centre, Brighton. Group exhibition.
part of “Queer Photography – a non-definitive survey“ at the Ledward Centre, curated by Presented by Socially Engaged Art Salon (SEAS). Displayed on digital screens.
01 July – 31 Nov 2021: Ironworks Studios, Brighton. Solo exhibition.
01 July – 31 Nov 2021: Chalk, Brighton. Solo exhibition.
street facing window vinyls
01 July – 05 Aug 2021: Jubilee Library, Brighton. Solo exhibition.
a selection of portraits installed for LGBTQ+ History Month.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Being a part of the Identity Project was such an important milestone for me. Showing people the joy, beauty and importance of being yourself wholly and authentically is vital. For many LGBTQ+ people, being able to be themselves can be fraught with pain, difficulty and even danger. So showing them that there is a diverse community out there who are happy and thriving is more important than ever. Plus, supporting the arts and projects like this, is an essential part of our culture and legacy. I hope that in future it can be even bigger and better - we need it!”
Dr Ranj Singh
NHS Doctor, Author and TV Presenter
I was so honoured to have been part of such a ground-breaking project as The Identity Project.
It was wonderful to see a myriad of beautiful & diverse individuals represented from our community & it resonated so much; We are often the “Invisible” & forgotten of society, rarely captured, & if so only by “stereotypes” of what heteronormative society thinks we are. Chris has managed to majestically capture the essence of our community- raw, diverse, beautiful & melancholy all at once. It is a project to be celebrated & shared globally- to dispel stereotypes, & educate others in who we are, our identities & to celebrate our community in all its glory
Founder, LGBT Mummies
The experience of having my photograph taken for Chris Jepson's Identity Project was incredibly powerful and affirming. As someone with multiple intersections, representation is incredibly important to me. Being able to reclaim my narrative and present myself in a way that reflects my true identity is a truly transformative experience. The media often fails to represent people like me, so being able to see myself and others like me in this project is truly meaningful. It feels like a step towards a more inclusive and representative media landscape. Participating in the Identity Project has been an empowering and validating experience that I'll never forget.”
Fox Fisher (he/they)
Artist, Film-maker, Author
Director at My Genderation
Co-founder Trans Pride Brighton
Patron, LGBT+ Switchboard
Participating in the Identity Project has been a privilege. I believe the project has been a landmark in queer identity for Brighton & Hove - and beyond. People of all kinds, bound by a shared understanding of love, have been brought together and for the first time our community has been seen, in its fullness and blessing.The exhibition is therefore a piece of history that is alive, permeated with a magic that facilitates understanding, healing and celebration. As a priest my participation in this work has been at times challenging and risky but it has mostly brought me joy and perhaps most importantly, I have been told my inclusion has brought comfort and encouragement to others.
Father Richard Tuset TSSF
Rector of St Wulfran’s Church
I’ve been photographed many times, by different people, with different agendas often appealing to my own vanity, but very few have allowed me the indulgent luxury of me being me. Bring part of Chris Jepson’s Identity Project is superb, as I get to show myself and share the aspects of my personality & my identity, which define me. In my case my skates, and being part of the roller skating community, which has defined me, both physically and mentally for many years. My wheels allow me to glide, that frictionless silent glide gives me strength, physically and mentally to tackle being different, ‘other’ , Queer. I really enjoyed sitting for Chris, and smile every time I see my portrait adding it’s little bit of difference to the wide range of people who are also part of The Identity Project. I marvel and wonder at the enormous diversity of the people in my own community, I learn, laugh and smile at the ways they want to be defined. It reminds me as an older, Queer, Cis, white, able bodied, agnostic Welshman who lives and loves to skate on eight rubber wheels along the seafront in the sunshine, that the breadth of my Queer and LGBTQ+ community is its strength, and I add my own little sunbeam to that glorious rainbow. Chris enables me to join with others and dazzle with our ordinariness. Thanks Chris!
Brighton & Hove City Council
Chris Jepson has been documenting the LGBTQ+ community through his incredible photography for decades and is a true pioneer when it comes to pushing boundaries and challenging the narrative around what it is to be queer.”
For more info, please contact me: