LaQuann Dawson: Self Study

Updated: Jul 1, 2019

In this Risk Restricted Self Study, LaQuann Dawson celebrates queer bodies and queer sexuality through the lens of how he sees himself.

"A little over two years ago i was diagnosed a type 1 diabetic, I lost almost 30 pounds and I've had a lot of ups and downs with medicine and my body's reaction to it. Some years later, I've gained it all back and a little more. I want to celebrate my body and my sexuality. My health and my wellness, really giving myself permission and allowing myself to be a sexual being. Someone who has grown out of pants I could fit in high school. Appreciating all different kinds of attention and exploring my relationship to desire and my need/want to be desired and to desire." - LaQuann Dawson.


but I don’t know how

to take care of myself

and I don’t know how

to let someone else

in September I cry

myself into a sugar coma

and wake up on a rooftop

in Ohio with nothing

but socks and gloves on

whispering apologies

and love spells

under my breath

I hide and I run

I bury myself

in my work

and he or she

has presence there

is alive is safe is home

a place to escape

be pretty and gay

and without cloth

or be it another place

to hide and to run from

I wonder where

my mother goes

to hide and if she calls

it home

I wonder whose voice

she runs to and from if not her

own and not mine

the first time I kissed a boy

he didn’t want to

remember me got drunk gave me a new

favorite scent: blue car 3am shame-

less walk to empty dorm

not enough regret to

regret nothing feeling

alive and useful

invisible men invisible each-

other pleasures warrant less thrill

the chase and the blood rise

down low i wore a hickey and pearls

to breakfast the morning after

left my closet door open

on the way out


laquann dawson

he chooses when to keep quiet. on whim, let’s me drag him to a house full

of nameless men with no drawls. he’s curious, critical, and today, he’s

quiet. i’m not sure why. we walk through, a few dick head receptionist

rush us through the doors, take our money and read off some instructions

about keys and towels, most of which i missed. there is a staircase that

leads to wherever the night wanted us to end up. we head up. me, giving my

best dramatic slow-mo stair glide. my pink shorts hugging my ass. shorter

and tighter than most of my briefs. underneath I’m swallowing a black

thong, or pretending to. a black sheer shawl with velvet decals falls

off of my shoulders, it makes me feel like beyonce in her haunted video,

i channel her. i always channel her. him, behind me, looking confused,

nervous or maybe just soaking it all in. he lets me lead. we meet our

lockers, twelve feet apart. i undress, shed my shawl (beyonce stays),

unwrap my chucks from my ankles, step out of my socks, then my crop top. I

pull down my shorts that have brought me so much attention this evening.

nervous and trying not to get ahead of myself, I pause, leave my thong on

and wrap a towel around my waist. a petite latino man tells me how sexy I

am. uninterested, already aware and now focused on my baby, I smirk, peak

behind to see if he’s ready. he’s moving slow. he’s quiet. we walk around

to size the place up, see where we can warm up. we make a lap around.

everything looks red, hazy and wet. there are men in towels everywhere

looking to have a fantasy met tonight.

I want to make a scene and show him how prize i am.

i want to be desired. i don’t want to allow anyone to

actually acquire me, but i want to be desired. that...i

think sums up my relationship to desire. i want to be

wanted in a few certain ways. i don’t want to be possessed

but the idea that someone would want to, in some way, pos-

sess me, excites me. sometimes i feel like i am perform-

ing when around people. i probably look ridiculous, but it

doesn’t always matter. it feels good to feel like someone

wants you, even if it is a delusion.

does that make me crazy?

Fashion pieces: The Phluid Project, Skingraft, One DNA, Michael Brambila, Alexander Wang, Stuart Weitzman

Concept/Creative/Photo Direction: LaQuann Dawson

Poems: LaQuann Dawson

Photo: Brian Brigantti & LaQuann


Retouching: LaQuann Dawson

Styling: Brian Brigantti

Makeup: Teddy Wilson

Hair: Nevada

Production: Holyrad Studios

Model: LaQuann Dawson @laquanndawson

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