By Ezra Goren
I love to work with my hands. I love to create beauty with only a pen, or clay or paint or words. And yet, the world doesn’t need another artist. I don’t tell people I …
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By Ezra Goren
I love to work with my hands. I love to create beauty with only a pen, or clay or paint or words. And yet, the world doesn’t need another artist. I don’t tell people I want to pursue art because I get told the same thing: I won’t make money, there are already too many artists and other demeaning facts. But something keeps me going: my contribution to the queer community.
While I try and make my art universally applicable, I want my queer readers not to have to translate art into their own lives the way we have to do with every piece of heterosexual media, which is the majority of what we consume. I often reflect on how I don’t fit into the writing world anywhere; I’ve studied writing in-depth for most of my life and have never read a poem about someone who uses gender neutral pronouns like I do, never read a comic with gay characters and never watched a movie with a happy ending for its queer characters. Imagine if the only time you saw yourself in media you were dead or raped or rejected, and even that’s rare. Imagine only being the villain or the dead hero.
The representation of queer people in art is something we have to take into our own hands. The only gay storylines I’ve read are ones that are filled with bitterness and ending with tragedy. The only transgender characters are ”he-she” and “it” and “murdered.” Growing up in this world, I have learned that my sexuality meant I will never be happy. I learned that the only stories about people like me end in sorrow, and this grew into a deep hatred of my identity.
Queer kids deserve better than this. I think queer youth will change the world—that’s what I have in mind at least. The world doesn’t need another artist, but people in it do. Most of all, I need to create art for other people who have nothing they can see themselves in. I want to reach out and tell them: you are not alone.
In the future, I don’t want there to be a gay and lesbian section of the bookstore because there are queer characters in every genre. In the future, maybe I won’t need to be a poor, starving artist. In the future, queer kids will get the representation they deserve, and I will use all my power to get there.
The preceding is an entry in this month’s Life on Capitol Hill Youth Voices Series in which a story, written by a student from a school in our coverage area, is featured each month. If you are a student who would like to contribute a story or know of a student who is interested, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For April, Ezra Goren, a student at Denver School of the Arts (DSA) contributed a story that examines the media’s portrayal of the LGBT community. Ezra is an artist and writer and uses art as a form of activism for the LGBT community. They love art, history and dogs.
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