Bil Browning

The story of a picture

Filed By Bil Browning | February 11, 2008 11:31 PM | comments

Filed in: Site News
Tags: behind the scenes, Bil Browning, blogging, Indianapolis Star, photos, pictures

Sometimes the story behind a photo is even more interesting than the picture itself.


This is the photo that ran with today's Indianapolis Star story about the Bilerico Project. For some reason, they don't put the photos online - just the story. I put some thought into this photo, so I wanted to share what Alex and the Sneeze had to do with it.

First, notice the jacket. It's not mine. It's Alex's. I also wore it for my date with noted Indiana right-winger Ryan McCann a while back. Alex left it at the house one day while we were working on the site and then moved to France without collecting it. (Funny aside: When I wore it to the Ryan date, Alex tells me, "You'd better not give me back my jacket smelling like smoke and Christian.")

Since Alex couldn't be a part of the story, I at least wanted him to be a part of the picture.

The t-shirt is for the theoretical rock band I'm in. It's called The Tree Brains. Jerame is in it too, but his shirt is blue. Once you form a band and you get t-shirts, your cool credibility shoots the roof. My friend Steve started the band, but you can join too if you'd like. You don't have to be able to play an instrument, just act like a rock star.

Steve is the author of the hugely popular humor site The Sneeze. I'm a huge fan of his site, so I made sure to order a t-shirt when he had them available. Steve has featured various people wearing his t-shirts in public (one of the Mythbusters guys, for example). I thought I'd wear his shirt to give a shoutout to one of my favorite blogs.

So for a photo for the main stream media, I decided to make subliminal nods to a fellow editor and another blogger just so I could link to the photo and share the story on my blog. Instead the main stream media didn't make it blogger friendly so I had to cut a copy of the photo out of the paper and scan it. *sigh*

Just for the record: Matt Kryger, the Star photographer, was one of the nicest and funniest guys around. I really enjoyed my short amount of time with him. I explained what I wanted to do and he worked with me to get the perfect shot.

The photo was taken at Urban Elements, one of my favorite restaurants here in Indy. They have wireless access and I work there quite often during the day. In fact, I pitched Alex and Jen about coming on board at Urban Elements.

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Congratulations on your success. I think of Indiana as a very conservative state, so for the main local paper there to acknowledge your work and handle the GLBT aspect matter-of-factly is great progress. It will be interesting to see what sort of feedback you get because of the article.

You really rock. You might consider coming to the International Foundation Gender Education Conference in Tucson is early April. You'll get to meet some of your trans contributers, such as myself, Marti, possibly Patricia and I don't know about Becky. Donna Rose will be there, too.

LOL - I already know Marti. I've known her for over 10 years now. We don't live that far away from each other. I'd consider it, but NGLTF paid for me to go to Creating Change (even gas money).

Geez, how gay. You get in the paper as a legit businessman, and all you can talk about are the clothes you wore in the photo.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | February 12, 2008 8:10 AM

Alex, you are typically more perceptive than that. France has dulled your senses, I fear. Anyone who is a serious student of photography would have noted, from the rather wierd juxtaposition of human and opened laptop, with the tables at a bit of an angle from the horizontal, that this really NOT Bil Browning at all, but John Connor, son of Sarah Connor of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. The scene is the one just before the Future Fundamentalists of America send a post-Rapture android named Ryan McCann III back from 2098 to denounce Connor as a liberal gay activist and therefore preventing him from following his true heterosexual destiny that would have otherwise produced several generations of geeks that would have outvoted Mcann's progeny and defeated the establishment of The American Theocracy in 2082. I'd fill you in on more but I forgot to take my medicine this morning. Again.

Bil, you already know Marti? My condolences. (I love this stuff!)

Actually, he looks more like William H. Macy.

Was that a "Damn, I wish he was gay" sigh?

I don't really see the similarity....

Well, William H. Macy has a really hot wife. Oh, wait, you don't care about that. ;-)

Yeah Monica, but you don't look like William H. Macy... or Charles Haid! ;-)