In the U.S., 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT. LGBT-identified young people move to New York City from across the nation because New York is considered one of the safest cities for queer youth. They arrive at the 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.
See Me: Picturing New York’s Homeless Youth, an upcoming photo book and exhibition, will show how and what this powerful group of young people is doing to break free from a life of poverty and discrimination. Through still photographs and portrait-based video, viewers will be challenged to see beyond LGBT youth's poverty and to forge a connection with a generation of young people fighting for equality, recognition, and voice in America.
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. Fradkin will have two years of working with a group of LGBT homeless youth — as they transition from shelters into a life of work, college, healing, and leadership.
Reciprocity Foudation cofounder Taz Tagore enhances the images with essays that describe the circumstances and the current conditions of the kids pictured. (Read Tagore's essay on photo subject Derrick here.)