Last week, visitors to Times Square were greeted with something more than the usual flashing lights of theater ads: the faces of LGBT youth in the foster care system who are seeking permanent homes.
In conjunction with Pride month, Heart Gallery NYC exhibited the photos in a series titled "Forever Families." Taken by a group of celebrity photographers, the images of 12 LGBT youth (in addition to 24 other youth) were displayed in the Times Square Museum and Visitor Center from June 10 through June 20, with some even projected on the Square's massive Jumbotron.
"This exhibition is about honoring the nearly 12,000 NYC children living in foster care and the hundreds waiting and ready to be adopted," said Laurie Sherman Graff, executive director of the Heart Gallery NYC, in a statement. "We're hoping that same-sex or heterosexual couples will step up to fulfill the children's dream of finding 'forever families.'"
While the Gallery is known for displaying and traveling with expressive, banner-sized images of fostered youth in hopes of inspiring prospective adoptive parents, this exhibit's particular focus on LGBTQ youth is vital. According to Graff, their Pride exhibit "play[ed] a critical role in fostering the understanding needed by LGBTQ young adults and youth. They often face isolation during the most vulnerable time of their lives."
Meet some of the young people seeking "forever homes" on the following page.