The Supreme Court ruling in June on marriage equality was a major win for civil rights. But we still have a ways to go when it comes to achieving equality in other areas. For example, there are still some states that don't allow adoptions for same-sex couples. The idea that adoption by same-sex couples is bad for kids lingers, despite the Supreme Court having gone on record to say that it's not. A new project from Brooklyn-based photographer Gabriela Herman may provide the perfect response to those who still believe children ought not be raised by gay parents.
Herman's photo series "The Kids" tells stories of people raised by same-sex couples or a gay parent, a project inspired by the artist's own experience. Her mother came out when Herman was in high school. "My parents soon separated, and eventually, she married her longtime partner in one of Massachusetts’ first legal unions," she told Refinery29 via email. "It was a raw and difficult time," Herman said. "I hardly spoke to her for a year while I studied abroad. It felt like a fact that needed to be hidden, especially among my prep-school classmates."
Five years ago, when she was 29, Herman decided that it was time to stop hiding — and start photographing. "Despite living around the world, I had never encountered anyone else raised by a gay parent," she said. Herman found dozens of other people who wanted to share their experiences with her.
Though many artists use their projects for a particular mission, Herman said she didn't really have a goal in mind with this one. "It was more for selfish reasons, to meet other people like me, where each interview ended up becoming my own therapy session," she said. "In sharing our stories, though, the kind that have yet to be really heard, I hope it shows that their are any number of family structures, and for people to be more accepting of that." She also hopes that her project can serve as an entry point for other people to share their narratives. See Herman's moving photo series and her subject's personal stories, ahead.