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Whose Streets Our Streets

Collaborates with

Queers in Exile: the Unforgotten Legacies of LGBTQ Homeless Youth

Curated by Alexis Heller

Whose Streets Our Streets has partnered with ‘Queers in Exile’ curator Alexis Heller to create an exhibition feature that allows people to connect with sites of LGBTQ homeless youth history from the show, outside of the museum. Visit our website or look for our purple stickers marked #QueersInExile around Manhattan.

Exhibition Dates: July 18 – July 28, 2013

[July 2013 – New York] Queers in Exile: the Unforgotten Legacies of LGBTQ Homeless Youth opens at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City on July 17 and runs through July 28, 2013; it is presented as part of the All Out Arts Fresh Fruit Festival. The exhibition explores the personal histories, creativity, and activism of LGBTQ street-involved youth from the Stonewall Riots of 1969 to present day. Inspired by transgender activist Sylvia Rivera’s essay Queens in Exile, the Forgotten Ones, this exhibition makes visible the long-hidden crisis of queer youth homelessness, while highlighting the powerful ways these young people have helped each other survive and create change.

Featuring work from Samantha Box, Gerard Gaskin, Richard Renaldi, Andy Warhol, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, Richard Wandel, Diana Davies, Leonard Fink, Carol Polcovar, Sean Ebony Coleman/Destination Tomorrow, The Ballroom Archive and Oral History Project, The Hear Me ROAR! Project, Vanguard Revisited Project and ‘Whose Streets, Our Streets’ app, Queers in Exile: the Unforgotten Legacies of LGBTQ Homeless Youth pays homage to the fight, strength and accomplishments of queer street-involved youth. And, it is a call to action to give this community the resources and respect they deserve, so that Sylvia Rivera, along with past, present and future generations of queer youth on the street, can “peacefully say, ‘I’ve finally overcome.’”

Through oral history, photography, archival footage and submitted pieces by queer current and former homeless youth, curator Alexis Heller, founder of Coalition for Queer Youth, engages the voices of Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, Vanguard Youth, young people at Larkin Street Services and Sylvia’s Place, the House/Ballroom community and more. This intergenerational conversation reflects the incredible resilience and important contributions of LGBTQ homeless and transitional youth–in spite of society’s desire to keep them at the margins.

Queers In Exile, the Unforgotten Legacies of LGBT Homeless Youth focuses on ‘chosen family,’ redefining House and home, organizing and political actions, and resistance. It is a view of history told by those who live/lived it within a community often silenced and ignored, but the vision goes beyond visibility. It is about collective memory and conscience, and repositioning queer homeless young people from ‘other’ to ‘our own.’ By recognizing the strengths of generations who have survived on the streets valuable legacies they’ve created in our community, this exhibition acts as an intervention. It offers place to homeless youth by grounding them within an empowered history and lineage, honors their struggle and reflects that they matter.

Queers in Exile: the Unforgotten Legacies of LGBTQ Homeless Youth will be on exhibit at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, 26 Wooster Street, New York, NY from July 17, 2013 to July 28, 2013. An opening reception will be held on July 17, 2013 from 6 to 8 pm at the Museum.  Visit freshfruitfestival.com for a full schedule of events for All Out Arts Fresh Fruit Festival.

Queens in Exile, The Forgotten Ones by Sylvia Rivera