A Letter to Our Readers
It's a generational rite of passage to stop being the "young people" that everyone is talking about and start being the ones doing the talking. And right now, millennials and older generations are talking a lot about Generation Z (those born between 1997 and 2012), taking part in the great skinny jeans and side parts debate and arguing about who has the better work ethic. But instead of focusing on what separates older generations from teens and 20-somethings, we should also learn from those differences—because, after all, we're never done growing up.
And when it comes to Gen Z, there's a lot to learn. Also known as "digital natives," Gen Z is the first generation to grow up entirely with the internet, with digital media influencing how they interact with almost everyone and everything. They're also the most queer generation yet, with 1 in 6 Gen Z adults identifying as LGBTQ+, and the most racially and ethnically diverse, with more than half of American Gen Zers identifying with two or more races.
Aside from their on-paper differences, many Gen Zers are actively challenging narratives passed down from older generations that argue, "This is just the way things have always been done." As part of Generation Next, we're highlighting the ways that Gen Zers are working toward a future of change. They're breaking cycles of generational trauma in their families, creating safer spaces to be queer or questioning online, navigating their multiracial identities, and rewriting the rules of online dating. On top of it all, they're making even the most controversial fashion trends look cool.
In speaking with Gen Zers for these stories, they've taught us how to be more inclusive, accepting, accountable, creative, and confident. We hope you'll learn from them, too.