1. Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus by Rachelle Lee Smith
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: PM Press (November 15, 2014)
Amazon: Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus
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A photographic essay that explores a wide spectrum of experiences told from the perspective of a diverse group of young people, ages 14–24, identifying as queer (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning), Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus presents portraits without judgment or stereotype by eliminating environmental influence with a stark white backdrop. This backdrop acts as a blank canvas, where each subject’s personal thoughts are handwritten onto the final photographic print. With more than 65 portraits photographed over a period of 10 years, the book provides rare insight into the passions, confusions, prejudices, joys, and sorrows felt by queer youth and gives a voice to an underserved group of people that are seldom heard and often silenced. The collaboration of image and first-person narrative serves to provide an outlet, show support, create dialogue, and help those who struggle.
I really liked how even though there was an official author the story was written by the individuals. Compelling, real, and positive outlook toward the future.
All I can tell you is that it moved me. Each page made me think, smile, feel.
Visually stunning and poignant, this book puts together the youth of the LGBTQ community and their thoughts at the time of their portraits for an exhibit. The book is the result of the exhibit. There are many THEN and NOW sections--of how the person felt at the time, and the reflection of what was going then and now. Some moved me to tears, while others made me think, and few made me laugh. The most basic and universal of messages--let me be free to be me--get to know me--I too am human were wonderfully documented in this book..
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