Speaking Out

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Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus is a photographic essay that collectively explores a wide spectrum of experiences told from the perspective of a diverse group of youth ages 14 to 24 identifying as queer (i.e., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning).  Portraits are presented without judgment and/or stereotype by eliminating environmental influence with a stark white backdrop.  This backdrop acts as a blank canvas to be filled with the each subject’s point of view handwritten onto the final print.  With more than 65 portraits photographed over a period of ten years beginning 2001, Speaking OUT provides a rare insight into the ever evolving passions, confusions, prejudices, fulfillment, joys, and sorrows voiced by queer youth.

I believe there is strength in numbers, power in words, and freedom in art and I strive to raise awareness with this work.

 


 

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About

Rachelle Lee Smith is an award winning, nationally, and internationally shown and published photographer. With a BFA in photography, Rachelle has spent the majority of her photographic career taking photographs with a passion to share experiences.  Although the subject matter varies, her innate vision to capture the life and energy of a scene takes precedence in every image.

 

Rachelle’s ongoing photographic essay Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus is an award winning, nationally, and internationally shown and published body of work.  These images have been published in magazines such as The Advocate, School Library Journal, Warszawski Festiwal Fotografii Artystycznej, HRC’s Equality and showcased by the Equality Forum, the Human Rights Campaign, National Public Radio, Public Television and the U.S. Department of Education. The work continues to show in galleries, public universities, high schools, youth centers and churches across geographies, including: California, Florida, Maryland, Massachucettes, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Poland and the Czech Republic.

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Recent Works