Carolyn Sherer
A portrait of a teen white girl in a striped dress with patterned accent spots.

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Lucy, 15 Years Old
Collection of the artist, courtesy of Living in Limbo, Inc., Birmingham AIDS Outreach, and Jennifer Hunt Gallery

Lucy, who identifies as transgender, made her first public appearance in a dress the day this portrait was made. With parental permission, Lucy and other self-identified LGBTQ youth collaborated with Carolyn Sherer on a series of photographs titled Family Matters: Youth Perspectives, which debuted at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Sherer attributes her nomadic youth in a military family as influencing her artistic vision; being defined by “the experiences of an outsider in pursuit of intimacy amongst great diversity” made a lasting impact. She describes her activist work as guided by the intention to “provoke emotional and thoughtful reflection on contemporary social justice issues, as well as the complex, contradictory elements of our universal identity.”