16 June, 2021 DALLAS GAYBORHOOD PRIDE PORTRAITS
I think it’s about time to reintroduce myself…
Hi, I’m Steph Grant! My pronouns are She/Her. I currently reside in Dallas, TX but am originally from Huntington Beach, CA. I’m all about human rights, making others feel included, LGBTQ+ elopements, and my chihuahua, Rusty. I’m constantly learning whilst taking others along for the adventure, especially with my religious deconstruction process. That’s the very summed up version…it’s packaged a little more nicely in this video about my story. Here’s a little bit more…
In 2010, I quit my corporate job in CA, packed my bags, my camera and my pup, and moved away from all things familiar on a quest to meet new people and document their stories. I was desperate for connection outside of my very religious upbringing. Pentecostal…yeah. More on that on my podcast “Overthinking with Steph”.
I’d say most people know me for being the first LGBTQ+ Wedding photographer in the industry. In 2013, I photographed the first lesbian Indian wedding in the US which quickly became a viral love story that traveled around the world. A year before marriage equality, I started marketing myself as an LGBTQ+ wedding photographer and met so many couples since then.
Shameless plug: if you want to book an elopement or micro wedding with me get in touch with me HERE.
In 2015, I founded the Promote Love Movement, a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community raised in religious environments to come together and share our stories. Then in 2018, I started Steph Grant Studios, a full-service creative agency owned and operated by a powerhouse team of LGBTQ+ artists. I have proudly shared my personal story alongside and through my professional work and podcast, awarding me the opportunity to be honored on the Senate floor in CA, speaking engagements and inclusivity productions with Google, partnerships with Fossil as the face of their 2019 Pride Campaign, and a feature in Proud Women, a book highlighting 100+ fierce women in the LGBTQ+ community. I believe that by sharing our stories, together, we can soften hearts and, ultimately, save lives.
What does Pride mean to you?
I remember a time when acknowledging that I was queer meant scary things. Even saying the words “gay” or “lesbian” made me feel nervous because of what I was trained to think about people who were gay. I never associated those word with pride, sadly. When I was younger, I wanted to do everything I could to just blend in. To pray the gay away. It took me a very long time to love myself. To be proud of the person I am today. Pride to me means having a place in our loving and diverse community. Together we are a force to be reckoned with. WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS, COWORKERS, YOUR SISTERS & BROTHERS. WE ARE THE STRANGER THAT SMILES AT YOU ON THE STREET. We are love. I am stronger because of this community and for that I celebrate with pride every damn day.
What have you learned about love in 2021?
I have learned that the most crucial thing is to learn how to fiercely love and accept yourself. Before you can love others fully, you have to make time to sit with yourself and tackle some difficult things. Don’t put that off.
DALLAS GAYBORHOOD PRIDE PORTRAITS
Dallas Pride was a couple of weekends ago. I photographed a few friends and a handful of beautiful strangers celebrating Pride by the rainbow crosswalks in the Dallas Gayborhood. Here are a few favorites.