This year for Pride, the cosmetics brand Morphe is turning its eyes to our future. In a new "Free To Be" campaign and collection, the company is shining not only its spotlight on, but also giving money to, a group of queer youth through a collaboration with GLSEN.
As a part of the partnership, Morphe is donating 100% of net proceeds (with a minimum of $50,000) from its Free To Be collection to GLSEN, an organization that helps to create safe and supportive school environments for queer and trans youth in grades K-12. The range includes a 10G GLSEN Up Artistry Palette, a six-piece brush collection, lip gloss, and a continuous setting mist. The collection launches May 28 on Morphe.com.
The affiliated campaign features a Student Squad of seven teens who are all involved in GLSEN: JP Grant, Soli Guzman, Selena Jeffers, El Martinez, Chris Li, Elle Smith, and Jessica Chiriboga.
Though things are getting better, the makeup industry often falls short in representations of diversity," Smith, who helped to found the Central Texas GSA Coalition to support 100+ queer and trans teens, tells Out. "This project is a step in the right direction, and I really appreciated the inclusion of youth of different sizes, genders, and styles of expression. As a black, queer, nonbinary person, I hope that my participation in this project helps at least one other person like me feel more comfortable experimenting with makeup and expression."
Like Smith, many of these teens are leaders in their own community. Chiriboga is the policy liason for GLSEN and the Vice President of her school's GSA; Grant helps out with GLSEN's "Here, Black, and Queer" Twitter chat; and Martiniez worked with the Massachusetts legislature to introduce a bill creating gender-neutral designations on state documents.
"I think people don’t understand that centering LGBTQ+ youth voices is essential," Chiroboga says. "My generation is full of leaders, changemakers, creatives, and innovators who are and will be leading this world forward. This generation deserves and should be consulted in decisions that affect our future. We offer great insight and a diversity of experiences, and we are always looking to change our communities for the better!"
See all the looks and meet the campaign stars below