Niklas Förster: Rediscovering Identities Through Generation Q

Photographer Niklas Förster

Words Javier Zamora-Kalazich

‘I realized that my motivation when photographing Lorenzo was much more personal than a regular editorial. I grew up in a small village before the social media times where finding queer role models was very hard’, says photographer Niklas Förster who has recently started a personal project of portrait series to explore, redefine, and rediscover his own perspective through young talents that identifies as queer, reason why he decided to name the project Generation Q.

After ten years in commercial photography, Niklas found the initial kick of his new project by planning the photoshoot with Lorenzo: ‘I realized -even though I thought I was educated and open minded- that my thinking was still determined by learnt stereotypes and inherited binary gendering’. Once he questioned the point, he decided to pursue this journey of rediscovering gender perspectives in the voices of new generations.

Through Generation Q, Niklas Förster aims to capture the determination and beauty of a younger generation that lives in the open spectrum of gender identity.

Niklas describes his personal implication in this project as a refreshing look into the present where things like ‘coming out’ do not carry the same fear or stigma that he faced growing up. In conversations with Lorenzo during the photoshoot, the model was clear: he identifies as a gay man who likes to appear androgynous since he was 13 years old. He never really came out, just embraced who he was and today wears what is comfortable. 

‘I waited until the end of my school years before coming out, it seemed impossible to me at that time. Then I surrounded myself at the beginning with a very similar circle of friends. Versus what I see in Lorenzo’s experience, for example, having a very mixed group of people where your identity is not anymore in question or judgment, and that is something great I look upon to’, explains Niklas.

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Niklas describes his personal implication in this project as a refreshing look into the present where things like ‘coming out’ do not carry the same fear or stigma that he faced growing up.

Through Generation Q, Niklas Förster aims to capture the determination and beauty of a younger generation that lives in the open spectrum of gender identity. Facing the struggles of their own era, they also battle towards more inclusion and diversity. This time not feeling alone and finding more understanding in a society that slowly tries to keep walking forward.

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