In their own words: Portraits of LGBT youth from around the U.S.

Each June, millions gather worldwide in parades, rallies, festivals, and more to celebrate LGBT pride. In honor of this movement, this week we’re shining a spotlight on the LGBT youth community and the myriad of ways you can get involved.  Today we’re  featuring stories from We Are the Youth, a project from childhood friends Diana Scholl, a journalist and current Communications Strategist at the ACLU, and photographer Laurel Golio.

We Are the Youth is a photojournalism project that shares the stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in the United States. Through photographic portraits and “as told to” interviews in participants’ own voices, We Are the Youth captures the incredible diversity and uniqueness of the LGBT youth population.

We created We Are the Youth in June 2010. We wanted to combine our strengths to create a project that would serve as a living archive of experiences and stories that chronicle a rapidly changing period of American LGBT rights.

Since the project was founded three years ago, we have the the fall of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the legalization of same-sex marriage in several states, a rising awareness of bullying and suicide among LGBT youth, and the changing face of queer identity, particularly among transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals.

In addition to being a dynamic time in American history, We Are the Youth records a transformative period of time in the lives of the participants who are between the ages of 15 and 21 years old.

To date, we’ve profiled more than 75 young people across the U.S.  Our project is entirely a labor of love.

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To enable more stories of LGBT youth to be shared, please consider making a contribution to We Are the Youth.

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