The Faces of Queer Kids

M. Sharkey's photo project captures the real lives of LGBT youth

Ever since he began photographing LGBT youth six years ago, M. Sharkey has captured what has become a poignant, ongoing project that reveals honesty about many kids today. In addition to its social impact, the photography also has plenty of artistic merit.

“The idea for this project arose from my own desire as a gay teenager to be given a voice,” the photographer writes on the Huffington Post. “I desperately wanted to be made valid in the eyes of my peers. Sadly, coming out (and of age) in the ’80s, as I did, proved to be quite difficult. I’ll never forget being punched by a high school classmate, as I’m sure all the other kids who suffered some physical abuse because of their sexuality will not forget. It was precisely this willful, painful defiance that I want to capture in the portraits. But what you may also see is the delight that is the domain of a new generation: the sheer joy of being able to stand up and be seen without shame.”

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And check out this behind-the-scenes video:

Queer Kids 2010 from M. Sharkey on Vimeo.