Originally I wanted to title these “Babes in the End Times,” something like that—something to recognize the glee that my friends and I felt becoming so close to each other and providing each other such joy in the context of times that already felt dire and menacing. I just looked around and my friends and was overwhelmed by the desire to document them. I bought the same manual 35mm film camera that I had used in high school and started shooting, and almost right away I knew that I was right, that I had something special—that whatever special thing I saw when I looked at them showed up on film. I love the sort of cinematic heft it gives to our mundane hangs and our bacchanals. It’s a blessing to have access to so many characters. Each of my friends is more ridiculous than the last. I ended up calling the series “Queer Joy,” because as a queer child you are told the future holds only pain and isolation, and what actually happens instead is you are heir to and member of a vibrant community tempered by suffering that only makes the connection feel more profound. I am lucky to be queer and know these people and this is the proof. (Marybeth Mareski
). Queer Joy runs until April 3 at Rocket to Venus.