September 26, 2014

What I LOVE about being QUEER

On Wednesday September 24th, UBC was graced by the presence of Vivek Shraya,  a Toronto-based artist working in the fields of media of music, literature and film. With the partnerships between several UBC resource groups (Access & Diversity; the Equity ad Inclusion Office; Critical Studies in Sexuality; the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice; the Pride Collective at UBC and the Sexual Assault Support Centre) we were able to host a film screening of Shraya’s short film ‘What I LOVE about being QUEER.’

‘What I LOVE about being QUEER’ is Shraya’s third short film, and was filmed from start to finish in his Toronto apartment in October of 2012. The film features 33 individuals who show a vast diversity in ethnicity, age, and gender expression. What all participants have in common is that they all identify as queer. Shraya formulated the film around one question, “What do you love about being queer?” The 18 minute film highlights each participants answer and takes an honest and candid approach in revealing how different people define and value queerness. Some answers were short and sweet, while others long and raunchy. The film gives participants a public space to reflect on what it means to be queer while challenging the viewer to think about their own queerness, or how they have previously associated the word queer.  

The film represented a multiplicity of queer identities, which really pushes the boundaries of what it means to be queer. It is crucial to bring such dialogues to a university setting where people may be questioning and exploring their sexual and gender identities. Along with supporting the work of a queer artist, the film screening  contributes to creating positive representations of queer identities and adds to a narrative of queerness that is empowering, accessible and shows that human experiences are always valid, queer or not.

The film screening was a much needed event on UBC campus.  The SASC would like to thank Vivek Shraya for his work and enthusiasm at the event today and is hopeful that his art will help to raise awareness around queer issues on campus and within the broader Vancouver community. 

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