speaking out: queer youth in focus by rachelle lee smith

Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus (photography book)

by Rachelle Lee Smith

A photographic essay exploring a wide spectrum of experiences told from the perspective of a diverse group of young people (ages 14–24) identifying as queer (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning), Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus presents portraits without judgment or stereotype, eliminating environmental influence with a stark white backdrop.

This backdrop acts as a blank canvas, where each subject’s personal thoughts are handwritten onto the final photographic print. With more than 65 portraits photographed over a period of 10 years, the book provides rare insight into the passions, confusions, prejudices, joys, and sorrows felt by queer youth, and gives a voice to a group of people that are seldom heard and more often silenced. The collaboration of image and first-person narrative serves to provide an outlet, show support, create dialogue, and help those who struggle.