About Us

Show Me Your Life
Survivor-led and peer-mentored safe house art programs save valuable lives.

Show Me Your Life is a safe visual arts program. 

I know of no other art program where male adolescent sex workers living on the street are given video cameras and told: Show me Your Life.

Show Me Your Life is different.

HIV discrimination and human rights violations exist at every level of society. Medical confidentiality, and who students are and what students say as they explore their stories to become strong voices, cannot be breached or abrogated.

By limiting access to the acquisition of media skills to students with a head start, we limit culture’s ability to see itself. Transform itself. Show  Me Your Life’s purpose is to broaden perspective. 

The students at Show Me Your Life may not even be attending school. The students at Show Me Your Life are kids at-risk. Many are infected with HIV. Some have HIV/AIDS. Some are in drug-recovery. They are from all over the planet. We believe that for the at-risk student to have a voice, he has to learn more than technical expertise.

Show Me Your Life’s goal is to facilitate the at risk kid to walk through and past obstacles. We provide him with skills that go beyond becoming fluent with cameras and editing skills,storyboarding and filming life around them. Our students frequently arrive with good camera and internet skills. During their time with Show Me Your Life, we focus intensively on expressing perspectives through story-telling dialogues with one another. It is our experience that when this happens in a place where story-telling itself is reinforced and strengthened through media tools that enhance layering, students reinvent themselves in the creative process.

Show Me Your Life's educators are also embarked upon a journey of self-discovery and reinvention. We have found our teacher-as-participant approach creates the best people to lead the way at Show Me Your Life, where we are all learning and each piece of art created by student, mentor or teacher-as-participant, has its own intrinsic value.

Safe House Arts Education & Advocacy: Smash Street Boys, Show Me Your Life, Cinémathèque Films, Real Stories Gallery Foundation. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act allows art-teaching entities the fair use of materials in classroom and teaching-research applications; iconic manipulation in photographic, video and film production; representations and facsimiles employed to instruct students in the techniques and application of mixed media art and collage.  Please Note: No Boys were harmed in the creation of their Art.

Show Me Your Life
Survivor-led and peer-mentored safe house art programs save valuable lives.

I Walk in Soft Shoes Between the Stars by Jonah (for my teacher, he does not want me to say that but I say it anyway)

If you could only see the beast you’ve made of me

I held it in but now it seems you’ve set it running free

Screaming in the dark, I howl when we’re apart

drag my teeth across your chest to taste your beating heart

And I become this child again. Walking our bikes up another rocky road. I have another crush one more time. I try not to. I fight it, and then I give it up when they disappoint me.

He tells me to stop copying, to stop copying him, and he says he is no role model. But I have an ear for it. For whatever the rhythm of a heartbeat sings. But how do you do that, how do you stop copying someone when you do not know you are copying him, and he keeps you at arm’s length, and he knows I am probably dangerous, and all you know is you can touch the rhythm, and he can do that, too.  He makes you push it and push it and push it until you are using words you never heard before or maybe you heard them in another life.

He is teaching me to write poetry. He throws books in my faggot’s face. How do you teach poetry. You take me to a quiet place where I can write with paper and a pencil. And then you leave me there like Tim does.

If I say something like, “The stars are beautiful and I walk between them in soft shoes,” Tim will roll his eyes.

“Avoid cliches,” he says. If it is a cliche, Timothy will piss on it. He is part dog. That is not a metaphor.

There are animal symbols among us. And you wonder where we live. Among the mountain whelps and mist that hangs above the ground. In the Blue Ridge where the bike trails will tear your skin and bones apart. 

When a pack of whelps sleeps together, they are always moving together, too, even in their sleep. My bike is double-twisting mid-air, and it’s the frame that has to take the punishment. If I fall, and I always fall, I will get back up again crushing me or no crushing me. Why do I fall only for kind men who can never love me back?

Tim is a junkyard dog. I am a Sparrow Hawk. Keveon is a gazelle. Trigger is the patience of a tiger. You never know when it will go off but you know it will kinda like an earthquake you cannot predict, but you know in time the threadbare earth will move.

My fingers claw your skin, try to tear my way in

You are the moon that breaks the night for which I have to howl

My fingers claw your skin, try to tear my way in

You are the moon that breaks the night for which I have to

Howl, howl

Howl, howl

Tim loves this song and I know why. We all walk between all of this and all our deaths in soft shoes star to star. Beneath most plain men are prisoners with no hope and their cruel windows. I was a prisoner in a Youth Authority Detention Center. The whole world gets reduced to fluorescent flickering. The light goes on and off again. And we are just a group of boys together who have by accident escaped destiny’s harsh laments like rolling papers that get flushed away and down the toilet because the cops are at the door.

Darker and darker and house to house. Love to love. Crushing and it’s all crushing me. We aren’t all that good for much. But we can escape any afternoon of dust lost from everything but desire. We know all her wet secrets and all her boundary stones, and at night we listen to the silhouettes of howling as it steadfastly refuses to give up something we will never know. You can’t know everything, and Tim walks away from the why, why, why lashes of that whip.

And I become this child again. Walking our bikes up another rocky road. He makes you push it and push it and push it until the words you heard in that other life have become alive in this one.

I walk in soft shoes between the torment and the sorrow. Like a Bedouin who has touched the treacherous sand with his constant eyes of rushing blindly through the whispers like a parasite tearing open each boys’ becalmed throat and each boys’ belly until we have looked at all our bloodied hands and then the screaming starts.  

Now there’s no holding back, I’m making to attack

My blood is singing with your voice, I want to pour it out

The saints can’t help me now, the ropes have been unbound

I hunt for you with bloody feet across the hallow’d ground

like some child possessed, the beast howls in my veins

I want to find you tear out all your tenderness

And howl, howl

Howl, howl                
Real Stories Gallery Foundation 501c3
(registered non-profit charity, USA).

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