"Testimony": A Living Exhibition Featuring LGBT Youth

Testimony” is a living art exhibition telling the stories of what it means to be young and lesbian, gay, bi or  transgender. “Testimony” launched in October and continues to grow as live exhibition online where you can view video, audio, portraiture, poetry, written reflections on youth, and youth speaking out about what it means to them to be LGBT and young.

“Testimony exists online and plans to grow with physical exhibitions around the world, hosting art workshops to contribute to the exhibition, and featuring submitted work at future presentations. Check out some of the content currently online:

“innocent love” by Anonymous, Age 21, New York

An excerpt from Freesia McKee, 21 of North Carolina:

“I still don’t have a succinct way to describe how I identify. I don’t think I have ever been straight, but I am also not a lesbian, a word that leaves out big parts of my experience. I am not bisexual because I have always been attracted to the places (people) of bridging—I am not attracted to two strict categories, men and women. But queer is another exclusive word, one that doesn’t fully describe my lesbian mother, one that doesn’t describe the elders I learned my feminism from, one that doesn’t describe many of my friends, one that doesn’t describe my life either. Queer is not a word I can use all of the time. The word search has revealed fatigue. While I am tired of compromising the gayness that exists in me, I cannot always say that I am gay—it doesn’t tell the whole story. None of these words tell the stories we are trying to validate for ourselves.”

by Afreen Chaudhry, age 20, India

A project of the Coalition for Queer Youth, “Testimony invites LGBTQ-identified young people and adults to submit creative projects that represent what it's like to be young and queer from their unique perspective. It is a space to tell our stories in our voices, to connect with others, to document our history, to spark dialogue and to create change. Coalition for Queer Youth believes that art is an amazing tool for empowerment, education and advocacy and we hope that Testimony will serve as a new way to engage and unify the community in support of queer youth.”

The important details:

  • For more information, check out the Coalition for Queer Youth Facebook page.
  • All submissions will be reviewed by members of the Coalition prior to approval for exhibition.  Please submit your piece or a detailed description (including images/dimensions), your current age, along with any artist information and/or statement about the work.
  • Submissions do not have to be unique to this exhibit – feel free to submit pieces from other projects as long as they speak to the theme of “queer youth.”
  • The project was launched in October 2011 and continues to grow as an ongoing, living project.

GLAAD applauds the Coalition for Queer Youth for amplifying the voices of the community and empowering youth to share their perspectives and experiences with the living exhibition “Testimony.” Check out the current exhibit and consider sharing a creative expression of your experience.