Excited to announce that We Are the Youth co-founders, Laurel Golio and Diana Scholl made GO Magazine’s annual “100 Women We Love” list. Big thanks to GO Magazine, it’s an honor to be listed alongside these incredible women!
Two weeks ago we had the pleasure of speaking to the Lawrenceville School in NJ as well as invited guests from the Peddie School’s Gay/Straight alliance. We had the chance to profile new participants, eat some local pizza and speak about the project with an enthusiastic and intelligent group of young people! Thanks to Sheamus Burns for inviting us, and all attendees for making our visit so fantastic!
Below is an excerpt of an article about the visit, written by one of Lawrenceville’s own, Emaline Kelso ’13. see the full article on our PRESS page.
Laurel Golio and Diana Scholl, creators of the “We Are the Youth,” project came to give a presentation at the Lawrenceville School on Wednesday, February 6th. In attendance were students and faculty of the Lawrenceville school community, as well as invited members of the Peddie School’s gay/straight alliance. This event was particularly important because of the diversity of exposure promoted in their project. As Eliza Rockefeller ’13 reported, “I enjoyed the ‘We Are The Youth’ project and found it an apt presentation for the GSA [Lawrenceville's Gay-Straight Alliance] to host, as both ‘We Are The Youth’ and the GSA promote introspection and self-acceptance and celebrate the diversity of the queer community.” Photographs from “We Are The Youth” will be on display in the first floor hallway of the School’s Gruss Center for Visual Arts until March 28.
After introducing themselves and describing the history of their work, Golio and Scholl opened the floor for conversation about the nature of the Internet and social media as communities and resources for young queer-identified and queer-allied individuals. The photographs and biographies they document become part of a larger archival resource, which capture a moment in the lives of young Americans that can be shared across spatial barriers. A large portion of the present audience spoke about the helpfulness of online resources and communities in helping them engage positively with their awareness of sexual and gender identities.
In the latest guest blog post, a young teacher discusses the struggles of being gay and closeted in a rural school district. Have comments? Questions? Share them in the comments section below. Do you,too, want to guest blog? Email email@example.com.
“This class is so gay.”
“We have homework this weekend? Gay!”
“Get away from me, fag!”
I’d venture to guess that on any given day, I hear at least one statement like this from one of my students. And every time something like that comes out of their mouths, I can’t help but take it just a little personally. Sure, they aren’t really directing them at me, but as a young gay man teaching at a small rural school district, they all feel like arrows trying to pierce the closet door I am still behind.
I have always wanted to teach, ever since I was really little. I can recall placing stuffed animals around me like they were students in my class, and teaching them whatever I learned at school that day. All of my part-time jobs and volunteer work have in some way related to education. And finally, this past fall, I earned my teaching certificate. What an accomplishment it was to me! Finally, the chance to pursue my passion and spread the joy of knowledge and the wonder of the world to a new generation of students. I could be the one to inspire the next great inventor, politician or everyday hero. I applied for a couple of teaching gigs, but the one I really wanted was a job at my middle school alma mater. And I was incredibly pleased to accept the job when it was offered to me. (more…)
Reading through the Daily Dot’s list of the 2012 Top Online LGBT Activists got us thinking about some other online LGBT activists that we know and love. If you haven’t already checked out these projects/artists/activists/bloggers, do it now, you can thank us later.
We’ve only listed a few of the activists we follow, there are so many more online activists, projects, artists and organizations doing incredible work around the world; which ones do you follow and who should we know about?? Feel free to leave comments/recommendations here or on our FB/twitter/tumblr.
original plumbing / amos mac
coalition for queer youth
self evident truths
the visibility project
the crunk feminist collective
i’m from driftwood
enrique torre molina
Happy to announce that We Are the Youth came in at #5 on the Daily Dot’s List of Top 10 Online LGBT Activists in 2012.
We’re thrilled and humbled to have made the list — as Diana mentioned, We Are the Youth has always been a labor of love and wouldn’t exist without the (incredible) stories shared by so many LGBT young people across the country. Big thanks to the Daily Dot and all of you for your constant feedback, encouragement and participation!
It’s been another wonderful year for We Are the Youth! We met and profiled more amazing LGBT young people, had the chance to partner with the Brooklyn Museum and host a Teen Night in conjunction with the HIDE/SEEK exhibit, we were awarded BAC’s Local Arts Support Grant, had a great interview with WDFH, participated in the Fresh Fruit Festival, expanded to the Midwest, started our partnership with the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, and had the opportunity to show our work at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. Not bad.
A BIG, Special Thank You to all our friends, families, youth participants, our awesome intern Sarah, Hot Sundae, United Action for Youth, Shades of Yellow, The Brooklyn Community Pride Center, The Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, The Gay Club of MCAD, the Iowa Pride Network, WDFH, BAC, Clifford Chance, the QNYN, the Coalition for Queer Youth, guest bloggers, twitter/tumblr followers and all project supporters (whew).
Stay tuned for new work and more We Are the Youth excitement in 2013! And, if you’re feeling generous at the start of this new year, support We Are the Youth with a tax-deductible donation.
Here’s a quick look back at some 2012 highlights:
We Are the Youth on display at Leslie Lohman
Miyuki Baker, the founder of Asian, Gay and Proud is trekking around the world on The Watson Fellowship to join the movement in creating a worldwide network of queer artists. She’ll be posting updates on We Are the Youth over the next few months. You can check out her blog, heymiyuki.wordpress.com, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @MiyukiBaker.
Lots has happened since I last posted from Peru. After my stay in Cusco (close to Machu Picchu), I spent over 2 days in buses and in transit trying to get to Buenos Aires, Argentina where I plopped myself down for the three remaining weeks I had in South America. People told me I should visit Patagonia, the Iguazu falls and other famous spots in Argentina but you know what, I had had enough moving around in South America that it was okay for me to just stay put for a bit. My first few days in Buenos Aires were quite a surprise to me because not only was the city much larger than the other Latin American cities I had stayed in, but also because (in part, due to its size) the gay community seemed so spread out and at least on the surface, extremely commercial. Argentina was the first country in South America to legalize gay marriage, thus gay tourism in Buenos Aires has really taken off. Everywhere I looked, there were gay maps, gay bars and gay-friendly tourism. It was a bit off-putting actually, since a lot of what I was finding seemed to be unhealthily linked to profit.
When I dug a bit deeper though, I found that just an hour from Buenos Aires, in a smaller city called La Plata, was a strong counterculture lesbian culture and community. I met with the members of a feminist lesbian group called “Malas como las aranas” which means “Bad like the spiders” and they were throwing day long lesbian festivals every Sunday of the month of September! I went to one of them and performed a piece I developed in Ecuador about female masturbation (see my Ecuador zine for more info on the performance) and had a great response.
In the end, I had quite a diverse collection of submissions for my Argentina zine which you can see below:
The night before my trip to Sydney, Australia, I got to the airport early and stayed up all night drinking mate, (a classic Argentine drink), reflecting on the four months I had just experienced in South America and how I was about to return to an English-speaking country with all of the “comforts” I was used to back in the US. I had many difficult moments in South America where things were stolen or when I felt like I had to always be on guard as I was in transit, but I was given many wonderful opportunities to develop my art in really safe and supportive queer communities as well. There is such a wealth of activism happening in each country I visited in South America and I’m counting the months until my next visit. (more…)
As we get ready to publish our first Midwest profile (coming soon!), we’d like to thank our Kickstarter supporters who made the trip possible. We couldn’t have done it without you and are forever grateful! – Laurel + Diana
Marcy Baskin, Dennis Weakley, Alex Hagen, Jonah Ronsenberg, Lauren DeMille, Tiffany Bryant, James Rorimer, Robin Rollan Leon Lukic, Tyler Aldridge, Diana Beshara, Heather Simon, Gregg Chadwick, Michael Barr, Sarah Hughes, Synthetic PictureHaus, Katy Slininger, Carole May, Julia, Peter Quin-Conroy, Alinda, Leora Fox, Sam, Heather Stone, Natalia James, Natalia Moena, Jeremy Claton, Jamie Thillman, Harriet Robinson, Cait Opperman, Yael Malka, Stephen York, Jennifer Paul, Dustin Aksland, Jillian Bevacqua, Sarah Sanchez, Maureen Butchar, Meryl Friedman, Aileen Murphy, Sara Hammer, C Reese, Margaret Menghini, Jordan Cila, Keith Mancuso, Diana Jimenez, Katherine Briskin, Madelyn M., Diana Shomstein, Camaren Subhiyah, Allison Berger, Nicholas Watson, Laura Hadden, Jennie Drummond, Ian Cozzens, Bree Abbey, Katie OReilly, Christina McBroom, Neely Crane-Smith, John Won, Dale Rothenberg, Kendra Marr, Joshua Herzig-Marx, Emily Perper, Andrew Greene, Tim Murphy, Marissa Massimo, Stephanie, Andy and Linda Krostich, Stephanie Harz, Meghan Huppuch, Alana Rogers, Harriet Borenstine, Tom Saettel, Lucile Scott, Skim, Michelle Geoga, Pete Chiarolanzio, Hilary Sims, Barbara Parshely, Carol Guidry, Annette James, Ellie Burrell, Liam Quigley, Erica O’Connor, Sanela Lukic, Eric Juszyk, Alexis Handwerker, Caroline Rex-Walker, Becca Barish (and Debbie + Elliot!), Shane, Ken Weeman, Rob Lomblad, Terry, Karen Romano Young, Ryan Jordan, Miriam Scholl, Serena Tibbitt, LP, Gerald Scholl, Naomi Cohen, Tyler Clemmens, Cat Stewart, Sabrina Yu, the Reich-Golio clan, the extended Scholl clan, and all anonymous and independent donors – THANK YOU!!!
Things are slowly getting back to normal here at We Are the Youth. Film is being processed, interviews being transcribed, laundry being done…etc etc. We’re aiming to start posting profiles from the Midwest in the next two weeks and then a profile every other week or so. Is this too ambitious!? Perhaps! But we’re excited about sharing the new work!
In the meantime, we’ll be sharing our first Canadian profile tomorrow! Just to be clear, we haven’t expanded We Are the Youth to international waters, but this participant was visiting Brooklyn at the time we profiled her.
Our trip has come to and end, and what a trip it was! Before we get nostalgic, let’s back-track:
We spent Wednesday morning exploring Iowa City and meeting Rusty the Giant Sloth at the Museum of Natural History (dude is really big!). We then hit the road for our longest stretch of driving towards Minnesota. On the way we stopped in Mason City, Iowa to visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Stockman House (it was closed but we peeked in each window and Diana made up some facts about Wright that sounded like they could possibly be real).
The next morning it was an early interview with Qwill, a junior at Carleton College in Northfield, MN. The interview marked our first profile photo of a participant in a tree (yes, a tree). We then headed to St. Paul, MN to meet with two youth participants at SOY (Shades of Yellow) at the Hmong Cultural Center. Minneapolis is home to one of the largest Hmong populations in the United States. We met with two enthusiastic participants and learned a bit more about the Hmong culture.
We also met with Nhia, the SOY staffer brought on to coordinate community outreach for “Vote No on 1,” the marriage amendment bill on the ballot for the November 6 election. The bill (if passed) would prohibit marriage between two people of the same sex, essentially recognizing marriage as only the union between one man and one woman.
We then had dinner with Emiko Nakano (!!!), intern Sarah’s (wonderful) mother. She treated us to a home-made meal of sushi, tempura, soup, salad and finally green tea cake. It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip, if not the entire year!
Friday morning we met with Hannah, an interesting young woman studying religion and theater at Augsburg College with the hope of one day becoming a Lutheran pastor (a first for a We Are the Youth participant!)
We then headed to Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), where we met Kara, the head of the Gay Club (yes, it’s actually called “Gay Club,” how post-modern!), as well as some other rad new participants. In between MCAD interviews, we visited the Guthrie Theater and met another new participant who, ironically, will be starting MCAD in the spring.
Back at MCAD, after meeting with members of the Gay Club, we had dinner with Hot Sundae founder, Nicole Killian (a visiting artist/professor at MCAD) and her partner, Brittany (an adjunct professor at MCAD). Hot Sundae has done some design work for us in the past so it was a (big!) treat to hang out with Nicole in person!
Saturday morning was our last interview of the trip (with Sloan, another MCAD student, pictured below), after which we had a quick look around the Walker Art Center and then headed to the airport.
All things said and done, it was an amazing trip filled with amazing people. We really can’t say thank you enough to all the Kickstarer donors, friends, family, strangers, LGBT youth, community organizers, etc etc etc, who made this possible. It’s such a humbling experience to travel to new parts of the country and interview queer youth from various backgrounds. All of the participants have incredible and unique stories and it’s an honor to hear them and be able to share them with the world. Stay tuned for the new work and thank you again for all the support.
We didn’t know this before last week, but apparently Nebraska and Iowa have a bit of a rivalry. So while our new Nebraska friends had us a bit biased as to what we’d find in the Hawkeye State, we have been impressed!
After a breakfast with Eric in downtown Omaha, we hit the road to Newton, Iowa, where Dana at the Iowa Pride Network, a group that helps students in the state strengthen their gay-straight alliances, connected us with Sam and Ella. Newton Senior High School Gay-Straight Alliance, of which Ella is the president, won the award last year for best GSA in the state!
We heard their amazing stories, and after our interview, they took us on a tour of a town, and we went with them and a friend to Panda Garden, a chinese buffet. Sam had to leave for a band performance, but Ella, a member of the school bowling team, put on her bowling uniform to pose for some photos at the bowling alley that you are going to love. Then we played a game of bowling ourselves. We were not high school bowling team caliber, but had fun.
Then we headed to Ottumwa, a town about an hour south of Newton. In the morning we woke up earlier than we are use to to photograph KiRel before he started school. He was really great and friendly, and we wished we had more time to spend with him.
In Iowa City, we met with a fantastic group of high school students at United Action for Youth, profiled Jacob, Natasha, and Alex, and had a chance to talk to the great staff at UAY. Thanks Joe for inviting us!
Then after delicious sushi, we went to the Student Union to watch the Presidential Debate, where LGBT rights were absent from the debate again. But at least we got these great t-shirts.
Tomorrow is a driving day. We’ll blog again in Minnesota!