Laura’s Team Pick:
M. Sharkey‘s giving queer kids the credit they deserve in his new project called, well, “Queer Kids.”
“The idea for this project arose from my own desire as a gay teenager to be given a voice. 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.“
In his series of photos, videos, and interviews, Sharkey lets every kid show just how smart, loving, complex, defiant, weird, and radiant they are. They’re you when you were 17, or the you you wish you had been. These are kids who know what they’re up against and know they can handle it.
Sharkey says, “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.”
When you look at these kids, what do you see?