What We Love: Josh Lehrer

A photographer documents homeless transgendered youth

Courtesy of Josh Lehrer Photography

Josh Lehrer is a photographer from New York who has spent several years chronicling the lives of homeless transgender teens. His ongoing portrait project – “Becoming Visible” – not only gives a face to these teens in a world that very typically overlooks them, but his work also seeks to bring attention to a very real, very serious epidemic in the LGBT community: homelessness.

In a report published by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, transgender people are disproportionately represented among the national homeless population. And one and five transgendered persons are at risk for becoming homeless in their lifetime – often losing their only support systems at an early age after “coming out” to family and friends who all too often reject them.

“Many homeless transgendered teens have been traumatized by the loss of their families, their homes and often, their dignity,” says Lehrer. “There is a genuine dearth of visibility for these kids – and as an artist – I feel one way that I can contribute is to generate as much visibility as possible through using artistically interesting methods that will get talked about both in the press and in the art community.”

Lehrer has already raised more than $35,000 for supplies and other expenses that he’s used toward this enormous photography project – which has been lauded for both its artistic integrity and statement about transgender teens today.

He’s also created a very moving video showcasing his work that speaks of the many homeless LGBT teens in our communities in New York, Philly and around the world: