My friends here are super-great and I love them a lot. But a lot of people here are very privileged, and that’s a huge contrast to my friends at home. And I feel like a lot of us in my group of friends at home have problems, and I think they’re problems that we share.
I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 last summer so that’s just been really tough coming to terms with the diagnosis and also going on meds and handling all of that. There are people in our group who are depressed; people have anxiety disorders. Everybody has something that they’re dealing with, so being together we don’t have to think about it and we don’t have to think, ‘oh no I might forget to not talk about this thing that I’m hiding’ because we all know it so there’s nothing to be tense about.
I don’t think any of my friends at home are straight. A lot of them have different gender identities as well, and it’s just a very queer group of people. So coming out to them wasn’t a big deal. (more…)
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!
How can I say it without sounding racist? I fit in more with the white people than the black. I’m a little white boy honestly. The only time my black comes out is when I’m mad. Not a lot of people see that side of me. With my family, I still kind of feel like I’m a black sheep.
The only judgement I care about is my family’s. That was one of my worries when I came out, how my family was going to react. A trillion things going through my mind at rapid speed. But after I actually did it, nothing really changed. Most of them say as long “as you’re happy, I’m happy.” I know other relatives are gay, but not openly. They’ve come up to me, say “I’m gay.” or “I’m bisexual.” I’m like, “They don’t treat you any different. They won’t treat me different.”
My one aunt is the family reverend. I’m gay, she’s a pastor, how’s that really going to work? I know she still loves me and everything. (more…)
I don’t think my parents know how much it meant for me to get into UCLA. They only went up to primary school. They expected me to go to community college. To them it’s the same thing. You’re going to be farther away and have to pay more. I’m like, “Yeah, but it’s a really, really good school.” They saw how big it was, and how other people’s parents were really, really excited.
When I first started college I was like, “Oh my God, I’m going to fail everything.” My writing was really bad. But it’s not that hard. I’m getting As and Bs. For next year I’m going to try to do more things with the art history association. I was in arts club at school. I’d love to talk about what the art meant and ideology. There weren’t a lot of people you could talk to about art in my high school in a really critical way.
I really want to have a gallery. Not a museum. I don’t think museums really become involved in art until it becomes mainstream or awesome. I’d like to put on a gallery of artists that are working at that time, whose art is going to end up in museums. (more…)
I’m wearing high tops because I just found them again. I’m wearing fishnets because it was cold outside. And I’m wearing the skirt because my friend gave it to me. And I’m wearing a Dead Kennedys shirt because they’re a good band.
I was raised by two people that were part of the punk scene here, so I was raised listening to the Ramones and the Clash and stuff like that. But the first band I got into on my own was the Dead Kennedys so they’re really important to me.
My dad was a drummer in a punk band, and my mom never played many instruments but she was at shows a lot. I think they’re proud of me. My mom works weekends, but my dad is usually at our shows. Sometimes he’s like, “You should do it like this!” And you know, sometimes I get weirded out by the fact that I might be following in my parent’s footsteps. (more…)
Ever since I was little we were raised Methodist. Not by my mom because she’s not very church-y but people in the family were very Protestant in their beliefs. I just never really got the whole idea of one God, and why it just had to be a man and there wasn’t any feminine aspect to anything. So I researched and I talked to people that were of other religions and Paganism was the only religion that came from the heart and made sense to me.
Paganism is a very old religion; 15,000 years-old, approximately. We worship nature. There are male and female aspects of the God and the Goddess and everything on Earth. We hold the Earth sacred, and worship it as a divine being in itself.
I was in a group of people who worshiped together, but that broke up mostly because our high priestess decided that she didn’t want the thing going on at her house because her mom wasn’t accepting of it. So it was hard to arrange meetings, and barely anybody showed up half the time. It was kind of a waste. So I’ve been worshiping solitarily since middle school. (more…)
Dear We Are the Youth,
I’ve been in India for close to two months now, and I wonder how my mind can fit everything I’ve seen, experienced, and learned. Last time I wrote to you, I was in Udaipur, which provided me with a comfortable platform to look beyond the discomforts I was feeling in Delhi and meet some young folks working on alternative education and community building. But it wasn’t until I got to Mumbai (Bombay) that I felt like things started to get into full gear for my project.
I had a couple of contacts who are a part of LABIA (Lesbians and Bisexuals in Action) which publishes two magazines a year, runs a hotline and conducts research on members of the queer women and trans community. I took the local train to get to the trendy neighborhood of Bandra to meet up with my contacts, getting looks the entire way since I chose not to sit in the women’s compartment. It’s an interesting phenomenon whereby any women in the “general” compartment are hassled to go to the women’s compartment.
Once with the two members, I had a great time learning about the history of LABIA and was excited to get a few issues of their publication “Scripts” plus a queer erotica book one of them had recently edited and published called “Close, Too Close.” Turned out there was a queer party happening that very night as well, called “Salvation”, so I decided to check it out with my new friends. It was my first time going out to a queer party in India and although the ratio of men to women was unsurprisingly disproportionate, I had a great time watching the performance by queer artists and got to know some community members. After the party, we all went to a popular late night snack joint close to the main promenade of Bombay, Marine Drive, where according to my friends, on weekends hoards of gay men hang out. (more…)
I am dating a girl from North Carolina I met online. She came and visited me on July 4th. It was fun. She introduced me to her family who lives here actually. This surprised me that she introduced me to them because we are both Hmong.
This is my second time dating a Hmong girl. I mean, the first time I dated a Hmong, I didn’t think it was right because I felt like since being Hmong, we all are related, so I thought it felt weird at first. But love is love.
I came out to my friends as a lesbian between seventh and eighth grade year. Now my brothers and sisters know but my parents do not know. My dad doesn’t accept it because the Hmong culture doesn’t really accept the fact that two women or two men would get married and not have kids from their own blood. That’s the traditional way. (more…)
The most exciting part about associating as bisexual is that you don’t have to choose who to love. If you meet this wonderful woman and you’re straight, it’s like “Well I’m straight, what am I gonna do?“ I don’t believe that love exists based on gender or gender roles. I already have the ability to love anyone so it’s kind of just what happens, happens. And I go with it.
The reason I associate as bisexual is not that I can’t decide. But I feel weird when I say I’m bisexual because from both sides, both the gay and straight, whatever that is, people don’t take bisexual people as seriously as they do one or the other. I think it’s because of the stereotype of young, naive girls attempting to get the wrong kind of attention from guys with that, oh let’s get drunk and kiss, I’m bicurious. It’s hard to be associated with that image when I open up and tell people about my sexuality.
I talk to my mom about almost everything so in 7th grade I was just like, “Mom I’m pretty sure I’m bisexual,” And she did what most people do when they hear bisexual. She was like, “Oh that’s a phase. You’ll get over it and you’ll decide which one you really want.” And I was like, “Okay, probably not.” But we’ll see. She promised her support either way. (more…)
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.
Dear We Are the Youth readers,
I’m writing to you from a city called Udaipur, in the dry Western Indian state of Rajasthan. It has many lakes that were man-made four hundred years ago, and the effect is shimmering, reflecting, floating, and rejuvenating. The window frames in Udaipur are scalloped, made out of stone, wood or concrete and it makes you feel like you’re in a fairy tale.
Before arriving in Udaipur, I spent a few weeks in New Delhi, trying to get acclimated to India and slowly searching out queer communities. After quiet and controlled Singapore, arriving in India was a feast to my senses. Of course, the intensity of sounds and tastes can be alarming and draining if you’re also experiencing Indian culture for the first time. So let us suffice it to say that I’ve had a difficult time adjusting, as I had two bouts of the stomach bug, fell into a scam (which was scary but fortunately ended well), while dust and loud honking has numbed my orifices.
Thus, while my previous posts have included zines that I completed, I’m still working on my zine for Singapore AKA haven’t been working on it and so it’s not yet finished! I’m learning to pace myself as I accept that I can’t always do things in the speed that I want.
However, I still have things that I want to share with you! In an attempt to find queer communities in India, I put my feelers out via email and social media, which gave me some great leads. I think that whenever I look for kindred souls, the internet has been quite helpful. In this case, I was led to a friend of a friend of a friend. He’s a trans person who went to a small liberal arts college in the US but is from Southern India and now lives in New Delhi at a fantastic organization that goes around giving sex education. He taught me a lot about how he feels as a queer individual in India, and was a soundboard for me when I was experiencing frustration with my gender presentation here. (more…)