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If I Knew Then...

Ryan Bakerink | Global

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This project asks people from the LGBTQ community to write a handwritten letter to their younger self, which is paired with their portrait.   This body of work is intended to serve as therapy for the subject while simultaneously providing a support network for a portion of the audience who may desperately need it. 

If I knew then…

…What I know now.

People in the LGBTQ Community wrestle with two common experiences: what life is like before and after coming out and the internal struggle associated with the transition between this before and after.  Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that 40% of high school students who are considered sexual minorities have considered or attempted suicide. This is a staggering statistic and is often associated with fear, shame, or a lack of support. How would this statistic change if a support network existed for every individual going through this experience?  What would you tell your younger self to help provide that much-needed support if you had the opportunity?  How would that advice have helped you? How might that advice help others? This project tackles these questions by asking the subject to write a handwritten letter to their younger self, which is paired with their portrait.   This body of work is intended to serve as therapy for the subject while simultaneously providing a support network for a portion of the audience who may desperately need it. 

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