"We Are the Youth," an online photographic journalism project that has been documenting portraits and interviews with LGBT youth across America since 2010, has now been printed into a book.
Portraits of over eighty LGBT teens with diverse identities and experiences have been taken by photographer Laurel Golio, and each teen's unique story was condensed into a short piece by author Diana Scholl. Golio and Scholl are two childhood friends who have already accomplished much in their careers: Scholl's City Limits article was recognized for Excellence in Newswriting by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalism Association, and the two were included in the Daily Dot's list of Top 10 Online LGBT Activists in 2012 as well as GO Magazine's list of 100 Women We Love in 2013.
The Huffington Post recently interviewed Scholl to find out more about what the two were hoping to accomplish through this project and book. Scholl told the Huffington Post:
Laurel and I decided to start this project four years ago because we felt that there were lots of stories to be shared about LGBTQ youth that we didn’t see represented. It was important for us that people from all walks of life could read the individual stories of others, and know they were not alone. We also realized when we started the project that we were -- and still are -- at a pivotal point for LGBTQ rights in the United States both politically and culturally, and we wanted to document this time through the eyes of today’s youth….
We hope readers will be able to see the diversity of LGBTQ youth, and the individual humanity in all of these stories. We hope they will relate to some of the stories, think about the world in a different way, and come away from the book with a more complete view of a community on the brink of change.
A similar photographic project documenting the lives of LGBT youth, called "Speaking Out: Queer Youth in Focus," is also being published into a book that will be available soon. Through books like these two that capture the voices of diverse groups of LGBT youth, the creaters hope to generate a greater understanding of the lives and experiences of LGBT youth.
Order your copy of We Are the Youth today and check out some of the portraits taken by Laurel Golio as part of the project!