Updated: Jun 12, 2020
With Pride month upon us, I wanted to create a new series of work that reflected some of my experiences as a queer man in a heteronormative world. At the end of this month we will be celebrating the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, one of the most important LGBT+ moments in history. It led to the gay liberation movement and advocated for LGBT+ rights around the world. The effects of this movement continue to ripple through time, getting queer individuals one step closer to feeling comfort and safety in their own bodies - but despite past efforts, there are still lasting effects of homophobia today.
This work aims to illustrate some of those effects, turning my past and current thoughts into physical manifestations. It also pushed me out of my comfort zone of working only in silkscreen prints. With this series you will get a taste of my newest sculpture endeavours which you can find here.
This series is also what inspired our latest call for submissions (which we are still accepting). The application form is here and please be sure to share it with anyone that you may think is interested. We will be donating a significant portion of any donations made from this call to The 519 and Black Visions Collective.
It is so important as a queer community to remember who helped us achieve our freedom (in progress). Individuals such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera played a vital role in the shaping of gay rights activism and the Stonewall Riots. Their sexuality, gender expression, and race, opposed the ideals of white cis-gendered heteronormativity, yet they fought for our equal rights. If we want to celebrate Pride this year we need to be sure that we're also showing our support for Black Lives Matter. If you choose to use your privilege to be idle or silent during these times but benefit from the actions of these women of colour, then you dishonour everything they fought for.
I myself am a white, cis-gendered, queer man, so I will never be able to truly understand the struggles that people of colour face, particularly the struggles of the black community. This statement alone cannot even begin to combat the obstacles queer people of colour must face everyday, however that will not stop me - and I hope that it will not stop you - from advocating for change and justice for the blatant attacks against Iyanna Dior, or the loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many other black lives taken by the hands of a corrupt 'justice' system.
Below I've listed some organizations (and their instagram handles) that you can help support by donating, petitions you can sign, and some articles to read that will help keep you informed on the matters at hand.
Please stay educated on the matters and remember that Pride month is so much more than a celebration for queer rights. It is a reminder that when we stand together in solidarity, we can become an unstoppable force against corruption in our world.
Black Lives Matter @blklivesmatter
Black Legal Action Centre @blacklegalactioncentre
Black Health Alliance @blackhealthcan⠀
Urban Alliance @uarrtoronto
Black Mental Health Visibility @blackmentalhealthvisibility
Black Women in Motion @blackwomeninmotion
Justice for Regis Korchinski @notanotherblacklife⠀
Black Visions Collective @blackvisionscollective
Other ways to support:
Justice For Regis (Petition)
The Urban Alliance On Race Relations (Donate/Educate)
Stream to Donate (Youtube video with ads allocating all their funds to the movement. Please let the ads play in full)
The transgender women at Stonewall were pushed out of the gay rights movement. Now they are getting a statue in New York. (Article)
Why People loot (Article)