Sunday, February 6, 2011

Childhood expressions of queerness

A new online project that asks queer people to send in photos of themselves as children has recently become my new favorite browser bookmark and food for a lot of my thoughts. The site's creator, DJ Paul V., identifies as "just one of many millions of out, proud gay people who didn't choose to be gay -- being gay chose me!" According to the creator, the site is "A photo/essay project for gay adults (male and female) to submit pictures from their childhood (roughly ages 2 to 12) - with snapshots that capture them, innocently, showing the beginnings of their innate LGBT selves."
I was out playing disc golf with a friend of mine when someone sent me the link to this website on my smart phone. When I clicked on the link, I was so fascinated by the stories that I sat down on a log and stopped playing for about 15 minutes just to read them. The photos are beautiful depictions of what it looks and feels like to be a queer kid in America. To me these pictures represent what most kids look like before society fills their heads with gender roles, stereotypes and other general garbage. They are the most innocent and pure expressions of true self I have seen in a long time. Some of the stories almost brought tears to my eyes and others made me lol. I've looked forward to the new posts everyday, and everyday they have given me a different question to ponder in my head. Questions about biology, about society, and about what the impacts (positive and negative) of the "Born This Way" project might be.

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