I met Corey and Mickey on the edge of The Bluff, an Atlanta neighborhood known for drugs, prostitution, and gang violence. I approached them because they were clearly out of place and I wanted to hear their story. Corey had a childlike innocence that was endearing but made me concerned for his safety.
BW: Where are you from?
Corey: I’m from Winfield, Kansas.
BW: Why’d you come out to Atlanta?
Corey: Well, I seen this movie on TV and I thought there were cabins, cause they showed cabins, and I came here to see what it’s like being in the woods, you know? But there aint no cabin here.
BW: *Laughing* That’s true man, there are no cabins in this neighborhood. You have to go a little further north, up into the mountains.
Corey: Well, I’m trying to make my way back home.
BW: Why are you going back home?
Corey: Cause I don’t have no money and I’m homeless.
BW: When did you get here?
Corey: Two days ago.
BW: And you’re already saying “forget Atlanta”?
Corey: That’s right, forget Atlanta.
BW: *Laughing* So, is he your friend or family [referring to the man he was with]?
Corey: Well… I’m gay. He’s my boyfriend. Yeah, I’m totally gay.
BW: Does your family know?
Corey: Yeah, he came over a few months ago and we told them. Now they don’t want nothin’ to do with me.
BW: I noticed that he’s deaf. How do you communicate?
Corey: Well, I bought him a hearing aid but it needs charged. He reads my lips.
BW: Are you in love?
Corey: Yeah *smile*, I’m in love.
After we were finished, Corey asked me to run him up to the Salvation Army to get some blankets for the night. We got the blankets and a pack of Marlboros and I dropped him back off under the bridge. I warned him about the neighborhood but I don’t really think it got through. His plan was to head out from Atlanta to Kansas today, on the Greyhound. My hope is that he makes it back home safe and that someday he finds the cabin in the woods that he was seeking here.
Part of these collections: Coming Out