Queen’s Collage Collective (QCC), Queen’s Reads, and Union Gallery have collaborated to deliver a night of art-making and thoughtful discussion at ‘Queer Kinship: Chosen Family’, which will take place virtually on Feb. 2 from 6-8 p.m.
The Journal spoke with Alyssa Vernon, ConEd ’21 and co-chair of QCC, to discuss the importance of creating inclusive communities for LGBTQ+ individuals.
“We want to make sure we center the [participants] and make sure everyone understands and agrees that this is a space where folks deserve to feel safe and seen within their own community,” Vernon said.
As part of Queen’s Reads’ Queer Kinship Series, the ‘Chosen Family’ event is inspired by this year’s Queen’s Reads recommended book, I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl’s Notes from the End of the World by Kair Cheng Thom.
This isn’t the first collaboration between Queen’s Reads and QCC.
“[I’m on QCC’s] programming committee, so being [that I am] a Black queer person, Clarissa, who runs Queen’s Reads [said], ‘Obviously, we want to have your opinion in the kind of events we create and also your help in producing [them],’ because these are the types of events that we do,” Vernon explained.
Attendees are invited to submit their pieces made during the event to the upcoming Queen’s Reads queer art show titled, Honesty, Glory, and Possibility: Queer Experiences of Gender, which will be held at Union Gallery in April.
“We’ll typically have a large group discussion for this, and collaging is something we encourage folks to be doing while we’re discussing,” Vernon said.
“[Collaging] usually helps [the process of] reflecting and pairing images with what you’re thinking. It’s typically what makes the conversations more fruitful.”
While participants create their collages, the discussion will be open to different topics surrounding queer kinship—like what attendees love about it, what it means to be part of a chosen family, and how queer kids should be represented in the media.
Vernon hopes to create a supportive space for students, particularly high schoolers and first years, as entering predominantly white, heterosexual institutions can feel alienating.
“[Showing younger students] the plethora of [student-run] clubs that have queer representation or value anti-oppressive pedagogy and education—I think that’s really valuable,” she said. “Young folks deserve that space.”
Vernon hopes participants gain relief from the space, especially if it’s their first time attending a collaging event.
“I hope [attendees] find comfort in being in a [virtual] room with a bunch of queer people talking about the importance of community and chosen family.”
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