We Are the Youth is a photographic journalism project chronicling the individual stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in the United States. Through photographic portraits and “as told to” interviews in the participants’ own voices, We Are the Youth captures the incredible diversity and uniqueness among the LGBT youth population. We Are the Youth addresses the lack of visibility of LGBT young people by providing a space to share stories in an honest and respectful way. As We Are the Youth expands, we aim to be even more geographically diverse.

Since June 2010, We Are the Youth has profiled more than 75 young people across the United States. We Are the Youth profiles have been displayed at the Brooklyn Museum, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the Fresh Fruit Festival and the GenderReel Festival, and have been featured in media including The British Journal of Photography, Change.org, Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post. We Are the Youth is an endorsing organization of the Make it Better Project and a member of the Coalition for Queer Youth.

We Are the Youth is made possible through donated time and the contributions of generous supporters. Contribute to We Are the Youth by making a tax-deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor Brooklyn Arts Council.


We Are the Youth was created by Laurel Golio and Diana Scholl, childhood friends and Brooklyn-based artists. Diana and Laurel were named to the Daily Dot’s list of Top 10 Online LGBT Activists in 2012 and included in GO Magazine’s 100 Women We Love list.

Laurel’s work revolves around the examination of community and its various subcultures. She is especially interested in using portraiture to investigate issues of self-presentation and identity. Laurel graduated from Smith College with a degree in Visual Anthropology. laurelgolio.com
Diana Scholl is an award-winning journalist  whose writing has appeared in New York Magazine, City Limits, POZ and Westchester Magazine. Her City Limits article, “For Transgender Homeless, Choice of Shelter Can Prevent Violence” was recognized for Excellence in Newswriting by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalism Association. In addition to writing, she currently serves as a communications strategist at the American Civil Liberties Union. She graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Journalism.



Why do you use the term LGBT instead of LGBTQAI/queer/GSM/etc.?

We’ve thought about the issue of language A LOT, vacillating between “queer,” “LGBT,” and other acronyms. While the term “LGBT” isn’t as inclusive as we would like, we try to use language that is accessible and understandable to people everywhere. However, we use LGBT as an umbrella term. Anyone who doesn’t identify as 100% straight or cisgendered, is welcome to be profiled by We Are the Youth.

I’m an ally to LGBT youth. Is there a way to participate in the project?

Absolutely! While We Are the Youth only profiles LGBT youth who are 21 years and under, we welcome blog posts by allies of all ages and identities. Email us at hello@wearetheyouth.org to find out more.

What is the age-range for project participants?

Because the project is about “the youth,” we have limited participation to people 21 years of age and under. If you’re over 21 and want to get involved in another way, contact us!

Are there other ways to get involved?

If you’re over 21 and want to get involved, you’re a straight ally, or you just feel more comfortable contributing in another way, there are many ways you can participate. We’re always looking for youth write-ups of LGBT events (here’s an example), guest bloggers, additions to our resource page, the list goes on and on. Send us an email, we’d be happy to hear your ideas!

Where will my picture be shown?

Your portrait as well as the accompanying interview will appear on our website, blog and various social media sites (Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, etc). Your profile may also appear in books, news articles and public art exhibits.

I’m not out to everyone in my life, should I participate in We Are the Youth?

That’s a personal decision. Keep in mind that these photos will be publicly displayed, so that’s something to carefully consider before participating. If you want to participate but are a bit unsure about coming out to the world, we can keep your story anonymous (by not giving your name or location) and take your portrait without giving away your identity.

Can I change my mind about participating after my profile is published?

Yes. If you see your profile on our website or elsewhere on the Internet and decide you now want to keep it private, just send us an email and we’ll take it down.

Who owns the rights to my profile?

Diana Scholl retains copyright to all text and interviews; Laurel Golio retains copyright to all photographs. This means that you cannot sell your portrait or interview to another party, or let someone use it for their own purposes without our permission.

Can you explain the profile captions?

The caption of the profiles posted on our blog as well as on the profile page indicate the participant’s name, age, and the location where they were living at the time we profiled them. The footer at the end of each profile indicates the year and location that the photograph was taken.



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