This Thanksgiving, Let Us Be Thankful For These Beautiful Queer Kids

Ya know what I’m thankful for this year? Queer kids like these little monsters. Really.

Photographer M. Sharkey, who travels around the country snapping pictures and interviewing queer kids, released this video montage of your average LGBT young people who warm my heart because they’re doing something extraordinarily ordinary: livin’ life, yo.

Got five minutes? Then take a look at the type of people who are more than just bullying victims, more than the targets of homophobia, more than some hash mark in a gender study. They are scholar athletes. They are prom dates. They are teens in love. And I am thankful for them.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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  • bluenosedive

    I love the queer youth of today. They are so alive, full of love and proud who they are. With kids like these, the future is sure to be better.

    This video made my day…thanks Queerty

  • Brentinpdx

    That was really nice…. thanks for posting Queerty

  • Jackie D'Angelo

    Shame on you for calling gay and lesbian
    youth “queer”. As if they don’t hear it
    enough from bullies, now they need to hear
    it from this worthless blog?

    You are so self-absorbed that you probably
    never considered the difference b/t defining
    yourself as “queer” and imposing that label on
    young people who suffer constant abuse and who
    live with the threat or the reality of rejection.

    If you want to show off how hip and raw and
    transgressive you are by ironically using a slur
    to describe yourself, go for it. If it gives you
    a thrill to feel like a marginalized outcast, go
    for it. It is pathetic and sad and very 1989,
    but if that’s how you want to present yourself,
    that is your business. But how dare you impose
    your baggage on young gay and lesbian kids? They
    are not queer. They are not permanently in conflict
    with their community and its values, doomed to
    be forever on the outside looking in. By telling
    them that, you are, however unintentionally,
    helping to harm them.

    Stop it.

  • Michael

    @Jackie D’Angelo: Brother. A label identity issue. Believe it or not, lots of folks are not thrilled with the moniker “Gay.” You say Gay and Lesbian, as in male and female, but is that always correct? I thought the whole idea was to look a little deeper than handles, but maybe not. Constant state of confusion.

  • soakman


    A lot of glbt self-identify as queer to preserve the unity of the community. It’s not a slur to be honest. It literally means strange, different, on the margins.

    Instead of the divisive GLBT moniker or ignoring the rest of the spectrum and identifying as only one subgroup of the GLBT community, many people prefer queer as it is inclusive.

    Please don’t fly off the handle. Save your criticism for something just. Queerty is doing something good here for once.

    I don’t identify as queer per se, but freshen up on your terminology a bit. I wouldn’t be offended if someone referred to me that way, so long as they weren’t throwing rocks at me and threatening my life in the same breath. But to be honest, in that circumstance, the last thing on my mind would be their choice of labels.

  • Pitou

    This was really sweet.
    I send all my Love to these young adults in this video.. and to the ones who aren’t.

    Might all of us LGBT folks remember this holiday season, and always, that there are countless LGBT youth who are homeless, hungry, and yearning for the LOVE we might take for granted.

    Please consider donating your time, or very useful money, to the needy LGBT youth of today, for they’re our tomorrow! How can we expect a bright future if our present youth have not a crutch to lean on?

    Much Peace, Love and Happiness!

  • RomanHans

    Watching Dancing With the Stars last night it hit me: we shouldn’t be MAD at Bristol Palin, we should PITY her. The kid has no self confidence. Told she had to do the dance from Chicago, she as all “I never saw Chicago; I don’t know what Chicago is; I can’t do that kind of dancing; don’t blame me if I’m lousy.” And then I realized, she’s not an adult we should hate. She’s a poor kid with miserable parents who’s been ABUSED. She’s a total outcast, and she’s throwing rocks at us from outside. Rather than call the cops, maybe we should ask her to join the party.

    All this to mean, continually showing acceptance and love would do a lot to head off our haters. This is a great post in that direction. Thanks!


    I’ve always preferred “Queer”. “Gay”, to me, suggests a culture (a certain type of homosexual person who lives in Manhattan or West Hollywood and still thinks Whatever Happened To Baby Jane is hilarious). Even “homo” is better. Could you imagine referring to Alexander the Great or DaVinci or Hans Christian Anderson as “gay”? Just doesn’t feel right. But I’m not trying to argue here. I know we all react differently to different terms and labels and it’s all legitimate.

  • alan brickman

    typical self absorbed mediocre…probably got Morning goods cancelled too….

  • Liz

    Queer is not a slur, or a negative thing at all. I know almost every person in that video, I am one of the people in that video, and we are all self-identified queers. And we love each other all the more for it.

  • Max

    @Liz: This video is beautiful, and I love all of you guys!

  • j

    This’s soo good, gonna go look this guy up now.
    @Liz: Which one were you?? You all did brilliantly. :)

  • soakman


    I have often referred to those people as gay actually. There are good reasons for those terms not to be used for pretty much anyone pre-1930’s (ish? I know someone here can probably provide a more specific period), but regardless the term is a tool you carry around in your toolbox and bust out when you use a label to do what it does best: simplify.

    Yes, there’s 1001 different labels for people at various points on any spectrum. The sexuality spectrum is no different. But if I had to launch into my idiosyncratic (or hear about your idiosyncratic) sexual-political beliefs every time I wanted to make a note of the fact that you enjoy the same-sex sexually, nobody would get anywhere.

  • Ogre Magi

    What a wonderful video, thank you for posting!

  • Liz

    @Soakman: queer was used from the 60’s-the late 80’s as a discriminatory name for anyone who was on the spectrum, but in the 1990’s, Queer Nation began reclaiming the term, and since then, members of the LGBTQ community who are at the end of their rope with discrimination, hatred and bigotry use Queer as both a sexual and political identity. As a sexual identity, it refers to anyone anywhere on the spectrum, and as a political identity, it means a commitment to antinormativity. In other words, anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, can be Queer, as long as they live their life in an antinormative fashion. I hope this helps!

    @J: I’m the one with really short brown hair and the leather jacket. The girl I’m with in many of them is my girlfriend. Her name is Caity. And thank you for your comments :)

  • Aaron in Honolulu

    I love love love this video so much!

  • David Ehrenstein

    These kids are all just so fucking beautiful!

  • Ian

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.

  • soakman


    Thanks. I knew I was missing something about the label. I have had friends that identify as queer and have heard this before.

  • DR


    All the reasons I hate the word. It’s a political identity which completely emphasizes one part of me over the rest of who I am as a person and a sexual identity so inclusive it’s meaningless.

  • DR


    BTW, just because we may not agree on the words to use or why to use them (to each his or her own), kudos for you and the all the youth shown in the video. It’s honestly refreshing to see a bunch of young men and women just having fun and doing their thing. We need more images of healthy positive youth today.

  • Fisher

    The people who are defending the use of “queer” seem pretty clueless and really selfish. Queer was not just an insult in the 1980s. It is one of the worst things you can be called in school today. It is probably one of the last words that Billy Lucas heard ringing in his ears before he ended his young life, along with 4 other gay kids last September. The commenters above are adults. They are fine tossing around anti-gay slurs and “reclaiming” them for some trendy political message. But they clearly don’t give a damn about how it affects kids in the real world.


    “As a sexual identity, it refers to anyone anywhere on the spectrum, and as a political identity, it means a commitment to antinormativity.”

    Which is why it is offensive to call these kids, or anyone you don’t know, a “queer”. That is a label they can choose for themselves, based on their own “commitment to antinormativity” not have that label thrust on them as Queerty does to all gay kids. Imposing the label on kids regardless of their own sense of themselves puts Queerty in the same category as those who hurl it as an insult.

    Also, if queer refers to “anyone, anywhere on the spectrum” of sexuality, then it is not a more inclusive substitute for “gay and lesbian” as some commenters above seem to think. In fact, since it is broad enough to encompass anyone anywhere on the spectrum, it is really meaningless as it pertains to sexuality, which is another reason it makes no sense for gay bloggers to use it.

    In other words, anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, can be Queer, as long as they live their life in an antinormative fashion

    Read more:

  • salamanderspirit

    I loved the video…except for the one photo of a young person sitting on a bed with no clothing except for a pair of underwear…made me wonder what the true intentions of this photographer are when s/he photographs these youth.

  • DR


    If you watched carefully, the young man in question was in a prom dress earlier in the video. This was his reveal, I guess?

    PS… not cool to insinuate this was meant to be pornographic, that’s a heavy-duty accusation.

  • Liz

    The picture of the young adult in nothing but her underwear was to show that genetically she is a man, but is transgendered. That was the picture’s purpose, I talked to Sharkey about it because I was curious as to why he included it.

    I respect your opinion and your right to believe what you like about the term “queer”, but I resent you calling me and my friends “clueless” and “selfish”. And yes, I will agree with you that still today, being called “queer” in a hateful manor is incredibly hurtful, as it implies there is something wrong with being gay, and further that being gay is antinormative. But if we are being real here, it is the way the world views us. We are seen as abnormal, so because of this, we own it. Or, at least I do. I can only really speak for myself. I recognize the ways in which the world views me, and I own it, and go against the grain, not because I want to make a political stance necessarily, but because it’s just who I am. I identify as “queer” because I don’t want to be what our society considers “normal”, that’s not me. And I think as a sexual identity it is more inclusive. It disregards the idea that there is only straight and gay, and thus disregards the idea that there are only men and women as well. I feel that “queer” is something that is all encompassing, and encourages someone to be whoever they are. Again, I agree that “queer” as well as any other negative slur against gay people is hurtful, but I think that it is important to not be afraid of a word. They are hurtful, absolutely, but “queer” as an identity is also an amazing way to create solidarity. This is just my belief, and I’m not here to fight with you about this, you are entitled to your opinion, but please don’t call me and my friends “clueless” and “selfish”, we are neither.

  • hmm.

    clearly, jackie is having a bad day.

    beautiful vid.

  • Ash

    Thank you for the video! I’d love to see more things like this. At this point in my life, with me still in the closet and not dating or anything yet, it’s always enjoyable to see real kids that are something other than straight. Kids that I can identify with on that level.

    And umm… that first girl, what a cutie!

  • Nathan

    @Liz: What’s selfish is imposing your label of queer upon others. Call yourself what you want, don’t force other people to identify themselves with a word that for many is still a slur.

  • samthor

    personally, I prefer the term “Queer”. it can be more inclusive and easier to say than “LGBTQ”. own the word make it yours.

  • Christians hate homos

    “Queer” is a choice, an attitude. “Gay” is not. Queers usually hold back the LGBT Movement by confusing the issues and rejecting “equality” and generally promoting socialism.

    Some of these “youth” are very fat. That is terribly unhealthy. They need to think about their health.

  • Asa

    @Jackie D’Angelo: You’ve obviously missed out on a major part of Gender Studies. In the 1990s the term was reclaimed by us queer, in the use of Queer Theory. There’s nothing wrong with calling them queer, and it’s an all-encompassing term.

    I’m queer.

  • Fisher

    @ Liz:

    “But if we are being real here, it is the way the world views us. We are seen as abnormal, so because of this, we own it. Or, at least I do. I can only really speak for myself.”

    You are not being real. You are living out a fantasy that you are some sort of permanently marginalized rebel, living in the early 20th century. You object to being called clueless, but stating that “the world” views us as abnormal is clueless. That hasn’t been the view of “the world” for many decades, although it remains the view of an ever-dwindling minority of people.

    By embracing the worst things that some people believe about you, you hurt yourself. By imposing that status on others against their will, you hurt them. I would suggest that you define yourself as you see yourself, not as others see you, and certainly not as your enemies see you. But however you decide to define yourself, don’t impose that decision on others.


    “You’ve obviously missed out on a major part of Gender Studies. In the 1990s the term was reclaimed by us queer, in the use of Queer Theory. There’s nothing wrong with calling them queer, and it’s an all-encompassing term”

    I know this wasn’t directed to me, but I think you are entitled to some kind of response. Missing out on 1990s Gender Studies is like missing out on a slice of feces pizza. It is no loss. I, unfortunately, did not miss out on it. I am all too familiar with the narrow-minded, shallow, and ultimately selfish nature of this school of thought. And no variant of it is more narrow-minded, shallow, or selfish than “queer studies.” You want to reclaim words and theorize in a nice safe college classroom, insulated from the consequences of your speech and your actions. It is working people and youth who live in the real world that have to deal with the consequences of being thought of, not as a member of their respective neighborhoods and communities, but as “queers” – an outsider forever in conflict with those around them.

    Bottom line: When you hear a gay person use “queer” to describe other gay people, you can be confident that you are hearing from someone who cares more about himself or herself than about those gays and lesbians who are less privileged and more vulnerable.

  • hephaestion

    “Little monsters”?? That’s a term people use for toddlers or very young children in jest. I can’t believe Queerty referred to these wonderful young adults with that term.

  • Simon


    (1) You and your gf are adorbz. Awesome.
    (2) I agree with you so hard wrt reclaiming/valuing “abnormality” (and thereby destabilizing the normal) in the way “queer” as a sexual-political identity lets us. Also it’s just fun. Also I feel like a lot of people here don’t understand how reclaiming language works. Also I don’t think you’re selfish or clueless; I think you’re awesome and eloquent and thank you for that. Just sayin’.
    (3) Comments sections can be brutal. Ugh.
    (4) fwiw I think it’s kind of creepy/tiresome/ungendering that the trans woman was shown like that though ): But if she was on board with it, more power to her I guess?

  • TruthSeeker

    Fisher, you’re the village idiot (or maybe just a tired old queen).

    Just last week (in the 21st century, btw), the UN’s Human Rights Committee voted (79 countries in favor and only 70 opposed with the rest (43) absent or abstaining) to remove “sexual orientation” from a resolution intended to protect people from extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions and other killings. This doesn’t sound like a dwindling minority to me. The world still is a very inhospitable place for everyone in the LGBTQ family.

    Liz and her friends are doing exactly what you’re telling her to do, i.e., defining herself as she sees herself. Which is to say, IMHO, that she is comfortable with being queer, doesn’t apologize for it and is basically telling everyone who has a problem with her using that term (including you, btw) to FOAD, er … get over it.

    PS: Liz and Asa ARE young people and they ARE living in the real world. If you carefully watch the video, you can see their world is certainly not an ivory-tower, privileged existence. They are also far younger than you and me. (You can only dream about being young enough to have attended college in the 90s. :) So they are entitled your respect, admiration and encouragement.

    Bottom Line, Fisher, you need to lay off these kids and just get layed. (Good luck with that, btw.)

    TO THE YOUTH IN THE VIDEO: You rock! I am so happy to see such confidence, intelligence and composure. I know you and your friends (strait and gay, … oops, queer) will make this world a better place. Thanks for sharing.

  • Liz

    Simon and Truthseeker, I love you. Thank you so much for everything you both said, I was beginning to get frustrated with Fisher, and was running out of ways to articulate myself, so thank you for backing me. I don’t know either of you, but I would love to, and I love you anyway. Thank you again. You are beautiful.

  • bishopdaveost

    @ATNNT: Thanks, great point, I have always liked Queer better then Gay myself, 30 yrs I have been proud and out but I have never felt gay : )

  • bishopdaveost

    @alan brickman: Really great TY !

  • bishopdaveost

    The point is, the vid was great and so are all of you for doing it. TY ! Remember there are a lot of us proud of you and are supporting you. Never give up : )

    More love, more light
    + Dave

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