Dominic Episcopo (photographer),
Aeriel Brown (photo editor)
I was 21 when I got the tattoo on my chest. A guy named Steve Gatrost, in Louisville, KY, did it. I liked his graffiti style so I asked him to design something with traditional tattoo motifs, like sparrows and a sacred heart. The banners say “strength,” “honor,” and “straight edge.” And I’m still straight edge!
When I look in the mirror I think, “Can I afford to drink? Can I afford the laser removal?” I guess it was a big step getting my entire chest done for my first tattoo. And since I’ve worked a lot of corporate jobs in professional environments, I’ve always had to wear high-necked shirts. Because of that people always think I’m very conservative. I always thought that was funny, because I am the complete opposite. —Dawn Geary as told to Aeriel Brown