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. Coming out (and of age) in the 80’s proved to be quite difficult for me and many others. I’ll never forget being beat-up by a high-school classmate as I’m sure all the other kids who suffered because of their sexuality will not forget. It was precisely this kind of willful, painful defiance that I wanted to capture in these 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.