This Beautiful Photo Series Shows How Kids Are Redefining Gender Norms
"Now we are developing the ability to say it's okay not to put everyone in a neat little box."
Lindsay Morris has spent six years photographing a gender nonconforming camp for children ages 5-12.
Morris told BuzzFeed that Camp You Are You "is a safe haven where children are supported to experience a place free from judgment."
The photographer is publishing a book in October filled with resources for families and schools on taking a more active role in the lives of LGBT children.
In order to fund the book and a traveling exhibition of images from the camp, Morris started a Kickstarter campaign.
"We are experiencing a moment in history," Morris explained.
"A time and a place where parents are working together, learning together, how best to advocate for their children and celebrate their individuality."
Morris's ultimate goal is for these images to assist in untangling the perception of LGBT youth.
And of the families and friends who support them.
"For many [of these children], their perceptions of their gender are misaligned with their bodies," the photographer said.
"They may later identify as gay, transgender, or somewhere in between."
Morris went on to explain, "This is just one way of being that has always existed, but only now are we developing the ability to say it's OK not to put everyone in a neat little box."
"It will require all of us to break the habit of assigning individuals a gender label and to start thinking of gender on a broader spectrum."
She doesn't necessarily think people will immediately consider all of that when they see her photographs.
But Morris hopes that conversations around gender identity will evolve after people view them.
"I know how lonely, and at times traumatic, life for an LGBT child can be," she told BuzzFeed.
"Looking over your shoulder and navigating your way through curious classmates and the occasional bully can be exhausting."
"That need to explain one's self does not exist at camp. Pure freedom of expression is a compelling and emotional thing to witness."
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