In September, The New York Times asked teenagers to show them their generation through the question, “What can you show us that might help make the portrait of ‘Gen Z’ more interesting, nuanced, complete or real?” Almost 2,200 students answered. The winners included 36 finalists — nine winners, 13 runners-up and 14 honorable mentions — whose images and accompanying artists’ statements impressed The New York Times the most.
Senior Marissa Perales answered with a picture of her mothers, and it earned her a runner-up award and her picture published in The New York Times. Marissa’s artist’s statement reads, “Growing up in suburbia with lesbian parents has its benefits and struggles. Throughout my childhood, I have had to grow thick skin for the ignorance of other people. The constant fear and tormentors I had to endure made me feel worthless.
From those traumatic experiences, I have been shaped into the empathetic and open-minded person I am today. I documented the day to day events of my family and captured the warmth of my home life. Bringing realism to my pictures spreads true awareness on the normality of my existence.”