Hi everyone! My book, silenced, will be out in approximately two weeks and I am beyond excited. Thank you so much to those who supported me and especially to the Cost family who donated the funds for this project to be possible. I had my second photoshoot on August 5th and have since been putting together interviews that will tell the stories of so many underrepresented individuals. Now that the book is actually becoming tangible, I’m so excited for everyone to meet the amazing people that I have been able to get to know in the last three months. Though it may sound cliché, children truly are the future and providing a platform for queer teenagers who are in complicated stages of development makes me so happy.

After the book comes out, I will be working on the documentary portion and finishing up my presentation of one specific individual who has taken my breath away since I met him. Throughout the project, a phrase that I have said so often and made the highlight of my book is, “be unapologetically yourself” and the documentary is focused on someone who is the definition of just that. I plan to show the film called The Prince at school and tell yet another story that must be told. Again, thank you to the CSGC and everyone who has helped me throughout this process, I hope that reading my book and watching my work changes your lives just as much as this project has changed mine.

-Ella Mbanefo ’22

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