By Danny Baggott @Dan_Baggie
Scroll down for the full story
Rob Woodcox, 26, from Portland, Oregon, used his camera skills to confront his self-denial that plagued his youth and early adult life.
Venturing to Iceland, Canada, Australia and India, the series portrays Rob’s journey. He begins the series as a cloaked individual, which represents him hiding his true identity and the end shows him with spread wings, portraying him taking flight, embracing his sexuality and moving toward more positive experiences.
Rob said: “Semblance is a series I created during the process of coming out as gay, aged 23 – a later age than many.
"The photographs express the feelings associated with my true identity as I came into my own.
“I had lived an entire life built upon religion that expelled my ‘homosexual tendencies’.
“And so I travelled to Iceland to begin this series and I realised that all people have a point in their life where they come out to something.
“I was dating a girl at the time prior to coming out and I even worked at a church.”
Rob’s first homosexual experience happened when he was 13 in a game of spin the bottle, but he suppressed his feelings for 10 years.
He said: “I was so terrified that I would be shamed for my actions and so I continued dating girls.
“I never went beyond kissing them, however, sex scared me and especially talking about marriage.
“Finally, when I was 22, I was dating a girl and I became attracted to a particular guy.
“Eight months of self-discovery later, the words ‘I’m gay’ came out of my mouth. I immediately put a notice in that I was leaving the church and shifted my focus entirely upon my photography career.
“I’m now loving life as a single gay man and though I’m not religious anymore, I still embrace people of all backgrounds and try to build my spirituality around love and community.”
Rob created the majority of the series in 2015 after posting the pictures on social media.
He received an overwhelming amount of positive messages from close friends and family.
“I was amazed at the loving support that poured out after I shared my story initially,” Rob added.
“I’m very proud of Semblance. The series enabled me to free the reality of who I am and share that with thousands of people.
“By publically sharing my story, I’ve helped hundreds, maybe even thousands of people see themselves as worthy members of society.
“I’ve helped open the eyes of people who can’t understand what it is like to come out as gay; people who have never considered accepting homosexuality – and for that, I am extremely proud.”