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Jul. 5, 2018
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`ANO `E.  adj.  strange, odd, unusual, grotesque, peculiar, freakish, or queer. 

The young, queer Native Hawaiian often goes unnoticed by the eyes of society. Even when we wear our identities on our sleeves, we still struggle to find larger representation of ourselves in the media we consume. And yet, we are in all walks of life. 

As a young, queer Native Hawaiian artist myself, I decided to join forces with those like me to paint a portrait this Pride Month. Here, we create an image of ourselves to celebrate what makes us different, both from society and one another. We emphasize our individuality while conveying that our blood brings us together, like the colored pillars of a rainbow. But above all, we embrace whatever adjectives the world might attach to us when we loudly identify ourselves as ‘queer.'

These four Native youths are not defined by the colors of their flags but wear them proudly here for you to criticize. They each look to you as if to say: “We exist whether you notice us or not.” Whatever your response may be, know that these are the faces of tomorrow. They will not be silenced by the traditions of yesterday. Remember them well, or be blindsided by an uprising.