Photo by Jonathan Martinez.
Chasing Rainbows
Jonathan Martinez, photographer and video director for Huntsman Cancer Institute, shares his experience chasing a rainbow and reflects on what it means to be inclusive as a first-generation Brown, gay man.

s a photographer and journalist, my sense of fulfillment comes from my interactions with others. And as a Brown, gay man I look forward to Pride every year to engage with my queer family. It's been difficult, for obvious reasons, to feel both united and hopeful about the future. 

On my way home one day this June, the most resplendent rainbow I'd ever seen in my life shone across the valley. I'll admit: I chased it. I'd never seen such a vivid fountain of color and I believed for a few minutes I could touch it. A sense of wonder was revived in me in an otherwise gloomy 2020. 

Jonathan Martinez

Rainbows and the queer community have a lot in common. You can't pin us down, you can't put us in a box, you can't measure or define us—or anybody for that matter. Seeing this rainbow was a life-imitating-art/art-imitating-life experience, which is how I see the world and capture it. I think it's important to remember why symbols, like rainbows, are so important to us, and how we can still share all of this imagery even when we can't be together.

For me, inclusivity means honoring people’s potential and recognizing that everyone has something to contribute. When we’re not inclusive, it feels like we’re contesting each other’s existence. We have a fear of hearing other people's perspectives because it creates discomfort. But to become better allies, we need to trust one another and be honest with one another. 

I realize that in the gay community we have historically had a hard time believing and accepting transgender people, even though that's all we've ever wanted—to be believed and trusted for what we innately claim as ourselves. Performative acts of allyship and justice, when what we say and what we do are mismatched, are dangerous right now. If you're going to be an ally, don't just say so, but do something with the information and influence that you have. It’s important to always show up, not just when it's convenient for you. When it feels the most difficult, the most uncomfortable, that's when it is most important to show up. 

I look forward to the day when we can be out and proud—beyond the confines of our present physically distanced reality. For now, you'll find me chasing rainbows.

About Jonathan Martinez (He/Him/His)

Jonathan Martinez, or Jono as his friends call him, is a photographer and video director for Huntsman Cancer Institute. With an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Utah, Jonathan feels a deep sense of purpose in helping patients tell their stories. Beyond his photography and video work, Jonathan also plays a role in collaborating with patient navigators to create materials for Spanish-speaking patients and works on design projects to emphasize the HCI brand. When you see a photo or video for HCI, Jonathan probably had a hand in
creating it.

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