I was lucky. When I was a kid my family introduced me to art, theater, and books. Dinner talk often centered around the idea of social justice for all. I listened—and wanted to know more. My dream, though, was to become a ballerina or a stage actress. After high school I moved to New York, where I majored in theater at New York University. Becoming a character in a play was so much fun. It was not that I didn’t like being me, I was simply curious to know what it was like to be someone else. Then my uncle bought a Leica camera, and my life changed. Together we began exploring the world through the lens of his camera. Somehow the combination of theater arts and photography helped me develop into a nonfiction author. Go figure.
Beyond Magenta brings together so many things that are deep inside my bones: social justice, photography, and interpreting the lives of diverse human beings. I’ve learned so much from the wonderful teens in my book. With their help, I continue to grow.