see me 2

In America, 40% of homeless youth identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT).  LGBT-identified youth move to New York City from across America because New York is considered one of the safest cities for queer youth.  They arrive at Port Authority Bus Terminal seeking housing, employment and acceptance.  Visually, the story of homeless LGBT youth is very narrow.  Media typically portray LGBT youth committing suicide, locked in poverty and isolated.  At the Reciprocity Foundation, LGBT youth are seen as powerful, creative, alive and caring human beings.  They are not victims–they are leaders-in-the-making.  They are extraordinary young people who have experienced suffering but will use it to create powerful art, theater, music, photographs and stories that will open our eyes.




 

In late 2014, renowned photographer Alex Fradkin (www.alexfradkin.com) became an Artist in Residence for the Reciprocity Foundation—an award winning homeless youth organization based in New York City.  As the 1st photographer to hold this position, he will have 2 years of unprecedented access to a group of LGBT homeless youth—as they transition from shelters into a life of work, college, healing and leadership.  Rather than capturing them on the streets, Alex will shift the focus to their inner worlds—capturing the qualities of tenacity, hope, creativity and inner strength that are so rarely seen.

 

 

See Me will show how and what this powerful group of young people is doing to break free from a life of poverty and gender-based discrimination.  The photographs are the basis for a Photo Book and exhibition entitled SEE ME: Picturing New York’s Homeless Youth.  Through still photographs and portrait-based video, viewers are challenged to see beyond LGBT youth poverty and to forge a connection with a generation of young people fighting for equality, recognition and voice in America.

In America, the majority of LGBT youth are bullied, abused, kicked out of their homes and not allowed to marry their partners—we cannot consider America to be just and peaceful until we afford LGBT-identified individuals equal rights. This body of work will help us to feel the hopes and gifts of LGBT youth, paving the way for greater acceptance and support in the world.

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