Vivek Shraya had become concerned that the dominant discourse among the LGBT population centred around death, suicide, and bashings. Shraya is a musician and filmmaker whose day job is the Positive Space Coordinator/Human Rights Advisor at George Brown College where he meets with youth who struggle with identity, self-loathing, and the fear that their families and friends will reject them.
Shraya looked among his peers and saw a stunning collection of strong-spirited people who represent a far more hopeful perspective of what it means to be queer than what the media portrays, so he asked was he thought was a small question—What do you love about being queer? The response was so varied he decided to make a film featuring 34 responses including an appearance from Tegan Quin (Tegan and Sara).
Because of everything I've been through, I value this part of my identity even more. It's something I've had to fight for—it hasn't just been given to me.—Asam Ahmad
What I love about being queer is that it's about heading in the direction that is connected to the authentic force within you.—Bo Siu
I like that it makes people ask me a lot of questions about things that they would probably would not normally ask . . . And most of all I love being queer because I get to have a girlfriend.—Tegan Quin
(What I love about being queer is a commitment to observe my head-body-heart's desire and the bravery to let it lead.—Julie Wilson)
49th Shelf talked to Shraya about how What I Love about Being Queer went on to become a self-published book—with 100 more ways to love being queer—that benefits LGBT youth.
God Loves Hair was Vivek Shraya's first collection of short stories, a 2011 Lambda Literary Award finalist that won the Applied Arts Award for Illustration in 2010.
To learn about all of Shraya's projects, visit www.vivekshraya.com.
Visit the What I Love about Being Queer Tumblr.
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