Talking Pride with Photographer Weslee Kate
Berlin-based Weslee Kate @wesleekatecreative is a queer photographer, music journalist, writer, and overall artist. The compulsive creator has a deep rooted need for self-expression. Originally from Dallas Texas, she just recently moved to Berlin, Germany after spending the past 7 years in Los Angeles, California. Part of why she loves Larsson & Jennings is that all her pieces go together, and, of course, the fact she can shower with her watch.
Read our interview with the artist below, talking pride, time management and everything creative!
What does ‘pride’ mean to you?
Pride means taking time to celebrate yourself and your journey. To throw your hands up in the air and to be the authentic self that may have been hidden for many years. On a more important note, pride is about remembering how far the LGBTQIA+ community has come and still has to go. That what is now a parade started as a riot and that our rights have been won through many generations of perseverance, strength, and of course pride. We celebrate to honour ourselves and those who came before us. That’s why pride is important to me.
There have been queer people throughout history labeled as roommates, close friends, muses, and more. It is only in relatively recent history that what has always been tucked into shadows can finally step into the light. I am so proud to be part of a generation where I can love out loud, marry whoever I choose, and not have to live life in a closet. I am so grateful for the people born well before me who made that a possibility.
At the end of the day love is love and it will always win.
Does jewelry play a role in self-expression?
In my world jewelry can be more than only an accessory; it can be non-verbal communication. The amount of jokes I’ve heard about queer women and theirs rings/ watches is honestly wild. It is something I’ll hear my friends look out for when trying to decipher another person’s sexuality from across a room. So while personally I adore rings and watches - especially when they are gold - it also is a way for me to signal to others that there may be more to me than meets the eye at first glance.
I always love when I feel a little bit like a pirate so having my fingers full of gold rings make me smile every-time I look down at my hands.
Your favorite watch?
Definitely the Norse 40mm Gold Black! It’s not too flashy and the black dial in the watch matches most of my wardrobe. I like that it is classic with a twist.
How does my Larsson & Jennings watch help me keep track of time?
As a photographer timing is important from meetings to shoot schedules - the minute I lose track of time is the minute I’m in the danger zone. That being said if I’m in a meeting or on a shoot I don’t always want to be distracted by my phone and the messages on it. Having time on my wrist and only time is incredibly helpful. I also love the timeless aesthetic of wearing a watch. It makes me feel classy and put together even within my chaotic life. Often times my style can be a bit grungy or pulled together and having my jewelry be clean, minimal, and classic really ties together the whole look into something purposeful and refined.
What I wish I could tell younger me…
I remember the first time I heard people talking about going to pride I was 15 and had realized that I wasn’t straight but also had thrown myself so deep into the closet you would think I was playing hide and seek with myself. The whole idea of it made me so uncomfortable. Because pride was the exact thing I was lacking. Today when someone mentions a pride event or parade I get excited because it’s a chance to be in a room full of community. While sometimes that community can have their own issues, judgements, and social dynamics, at the end of the day you know you are surrounded by people who share some part of your story. I wish the younger version of myself knew that some day I would love myself for all of me. I wouldn’t feel the need to hide and would show up authentically. That while it wouldn’t always be an easy journey; it would 100% turn out to be worth it. That someday I wouldn’t have to whisper maybes in dark rooms to those few I felt safe enough to tell. For her to be patient and know someday she would live places where love wasn’t a conversation tied to religion it just simply was, well, love.
Lovely day, huh? Because it is always a lovely day, even when it is a hard one.