Photographer and filmmaker Michael Sharkey photographs and interviews gay youths around the United States, in his series entitled “Queer Kids.” “Queer Kids” depicts an intimate and revealing look at the experiences of growing up as a member of the LGBT community in the U.S. While the series discusses the tribulations of growing up Queer and being discriminated against for this particular reason, the subjects of “Queer Kids” are presented as strong, unashamed, and comfortable in their own skin. In an interview seen in the series when asked about identifying as queer, one of the “kids” the series documents named Patrick, discusses his preference of the term queer to the term gay. ““Queer” is in your-face and calling people out and not being afraid to speak your mind and that’s more me, more of what I am about. I like “queer.” I am queer.” The series presents a positive and powerful and yet also vulnerable perspective of queer young people growing up in the U.S.
Michael Sharkey is currently based in New York City. His clients include TIME, the Guardian/Observer, New York Magazine, MTV, and several other publications and agencies.