Justin Jackerson

Out of Darkness, 2015

Video/ASL poetry

“Out of Darkness” describes Justin Jackerson’s personal journey and battle of staying in the closet and the triumph of coming out. The poem explores the loneliness of being in the closet and debating with the inner voices of truth, fear, doubt, and hope. It also deals with the oppressive and conflicting behavior and norms of outside society. With inspiration from legendary ASL poets like Clayton Valli and Ella Mae Lentz, the poem uses specific handshapes and movements, along with symmetry, role shifting, and allegory to convey Jackerson’s experience of coming out. The video medium also uses shifting color as a symbol of change as Jackerson embraces himself as a gay man.