QUEER VOICES

Queer Teens Take On Tech

On a sweltering July Monday at Google’s New York headquarters, in a conference room four floors above Chelsea Market, a dozen queer teenagers were introducing themselves to one another. “Danny, he/him pronouns,” said a seventeen-year-old from Queens with long hair and fingerless gloves. He’d been writing video game storylines since he was eight; this was his second time at Maven, a week-long free summer camp held in San Francisco, Boulder, Austin, and New York for LGBTQ teenagers and young adults interested in tech. As an icebreaker, the teens had been told to name a genderless green fuzzball with eyes — and to give it a backstory. The fuzzball had to have a weakness, and Danny decided that it was compulsive reblogging. The team named it “dat boi” after a viral image of a cartoon frog riding a unicycle; it was their homage to a “dank meme.” The rest of the room fluttered in approval.

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