Queer Kids is an ongoing project documenting LGBTQ young people from all backgrounds across the US and Europe. M. Sharkey began documenting queer youth back in 2006, in a time where teenage gender identity began to gain national attention in the US. Growing up in the 80's, he belongs to the generation that was hostile to the open expression and discussion of homosexual identity. Through this project, he gives the young LGBTQ generation an outlet to find their own voice and speak openly about their sexuality. Specially important at this time when bullying and suicides have been on the rise in the past years.
Sharkey's series of portraits are intimate testaments to his subject's powerful self-awareness and confidence, which deserve to be seen with dignity. "It is their defiance that I want to capture in the portraits. What I hope people might 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" says Sharkey. His subjects, whom he found online and through the LGBTQ organizations, were shot in locations that had a special meaning to them. They were also asked about their love lives, coming of age, and their views of the future.
Queer Kids large portraits will be exhibited at the Stonewall National Museum and Archives located in 1300 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL. The exhibition will run from October 30th, 2014 through January 4th, 2015. The opening reception date will be held on Thursday, October 30th from 6-8pm.
To join the discussion and keep up-to-date with the project, visit: facebook.com/QKUSA
M. Sharkey is a photographer & filmmaker based in New York City. Queer Kids has been exhibited at Galerie de la Main de Fer, Perpignan (2012), Rainbow House, Brussels, (2013), and at Les Rencontres d'Arles Photographie's Night of the Year (2014). His work has appeared in numerous international publications including Blueprint, Interview, The Guardian/Observer, Newsweek, New York magazine, La Repubblica, Stern, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Têtu and TIME and been included in various exhibitions at venues such as the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art, New York, NY; Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; The Pride Photo Award & Exhibition, Amsterdam, Netherlands; and the Staten Island LGBT Community Center, New York. In 2000 and 2001 he traveled to Dubai, United Arab Emirates where he curated a series of exhibitions on the work of New York and Arab photographers.