2016 has been a rough year, fellow diverse humans. Women, people of color, LGBTQ+ folks, Muslims, immigrants and allies have been faced with unprecedented discrimination in places that should be welcoming and celebrating our diversity. In particular, our youth have struggled. 

We have responded, as a global community of people passionate about inclusion and empowerment, with so. much. art. Art that has taken our breath away - stories have that made us cry - inspirational social media quotes that give us a little push to keep on fighting for the world we know we deserve: an inclusive, diverse world that celebrates us for who we are. 

We have launched iris inspires to collect all of this art in a single place. We want to create a tagged, searchable art collective where our youth can find celebration and affirmation of their identities - but we need your help. When you need some inspiration, some affirmation, or just understanding that you aren't alone, even in uncertain, hostile times, we want you to have a place to go. 

You see, we're writers and artists ourselves. We believe that art is activism, that the very act of creating something that represents who YOU are and YOUR struggle has the power to change someone else's life. What you create for yourself can have a positive impact on others. You never know what other people need to see, hear, read, and discover.

Wrote something featuring a character of color? Share it. Is there a quote that's carrying you through? Share it. Drew something to inspire others? Share it. Want to celebrate love in all its forms? Share it. Got a poem that works through some of the struggles we're facing? Share it. Took a picture to celebrate and protect our beautiful earth? Share it. 

(Well, share it and tag it, and make our volunteer team's lives easier.) 

iris inspires is a project of Creating Iris, a not-for-profit, volunteer-driven endeavor that advocates for LGBTQ+ youth by publishing a literary magazine called Iris. Every piece in Iris engages in some way with LGBTQ+ themes, and is designed to celebrate and affirm LGBTQ+ youth. We're expanding our mission with this project.

Join us. Be the spark.