We Are The Youth
Zeam, Age 17, is one of more than 100 queer youth profiled by Scholl and Golio.
, a New York-based photojournalism project, will visit Colorado Springs for the first time this week in order to profile local LGBTQ youth.
Led by Diana Scholl and Laurel Golio, We Are The Youth began in 2010 with the intent of providing LGBTQ kids, teens and young adults with representation that they seldom, if ever, see in the media. And though Scholl says that things have changed regarding media representation in recent years, there’s still a need for more diverse stories.
The traditional narrative one sees on TV — mostly involving white gay male youth — doesn’t encapsulate the experiences of every queer person. Scholl, who conducts interviews with the youth that Golio photographs, says it’s important for LGBTQ kids to “[know] that there’s more than one way to be queer.”
She says: “We focus on sharing lots of diverse stories so people can see themselves represented.”
We Are The Youth has published more than 100 portraits on their website over the last seven years, and collected some of them into a book
, which made it into the top 10 on American Library Association’s 2015 Rainbow List.
They’ve traveled all over the country, from the deep South to the Pacific Northwest, and their website says they “aim to be even more geographically diverse.”
Though Scholl says they have no plans to expand internationally. “We’ve realized over the years,” she says, “that we serve a very specific niche and that there are some commonalities, some universal issues. But we realized that the United States is where it makes sense to focus our project.”
And currently, that means here in the Springs. They will be meeting a number of youth at Inside/Out Youth Services during the few days they’ll be in town, but may have time to fit in some more interviews on Wednesday before they leave.
If any local youth are interested in being profiled, they can contact Golio and Scholl via the We Are The Youth website
See some examples of their work below: