Photos by FREYA NAJADE
FREYA NAJADE was born in Germany in 1977. After studying in Bremen and San Francisco, she moved to London, where she currently lives and works. In December 2009 she graduated with distinction from the University of the Arts London (London College of Communication) after completing a Masters Degree in Documentary Photography. Her work was selected for the AOP Student Awards (2009, 2010) and she has had honourable mention in the IPA Awards (2008, 2009). Publications of her work include BJP (British Journal of Photojournalism), Spam Magazine and Testcard.
If you are lucky, you get old
0. Chapter Page Dennis,76
1. DENNIS IN HIS ROOM
I have my own house, where I live half of the year. Sometimes I donʼt talk for a week to anybody there. In the summer I rent a room in a gay retirement home. I enjoy meeting people of my kind.
2. FIR TREE
I was married for thirty years. I loved my wife very much. If she hadnʼt died, we would be still together. After her death I was devastated.
3. DENNIS WITH HIS FLIGHT COSTUME
The thing I regret most is that I didnʼt become an astronaut and never went into space.
4. DENNIS IN STOCKINGS
The first time I dressed as a girl, I was eight years old.
5. DENNISʼ WALL DECORATION
I donʼt want to be a woman. I am happy the way I am. I just enjoy the kick.
6. DENNIS DRESSED UP
I feel that I am transforming from a caterpillar into a butterfly. Sometimes I go out
like this. If people donʼt like it, it is their problem.
7. Chapter Page Rae, 80
8. RAE IN HER BEDROOM
I loved my girlfriend very much. We were true soul mates. I am very proud that I was with her for 43 years.
10. RAEʼS AND RABBIEʼS OLD PHOTOGRAPH
The first evening I met Rabbie, I got up to make a drink and I asked her: ʻCan I make one for you too?ʼ And she said: ʻNo, but you can come over and kiss me.ʼ And damn it, if I didnʼ.
11. RABBIEʼS ASHES
This July was a tough month for me. There was our anniversary, Rabbieʼs birthday, and her day of death. Red is my favourite colour. She hated red, I didnʼt ask for the red and they brought her ashes to me like that. After that, I went and bought a red car.
12. RAE AND RABBIE
Rabbieʼs death was for me the most devastating thing in my life. I thought I would never get over it. I miss her so very much. When I die, our ashes will be mixed together and spread in the canyon.
13. RAE IN HER ARMCHAIR
We had such a great life together. I do feel she is still around. Recently, they played this one strip song on the radio, we were always dancing to. I felt she gave me a sign ʻI am still hereʼ. The pain is slowly getting better, though. I never thought it would. You tend to idealise people who are dead. Now there is no Saint Rabbie anymore but Saint Rae. I have to look after myself better.