I have heard it so many times in the past few months: we love Montréal.
We love the community, the endless cultures of resistance, and the freedom and joy the city gives us. But over and over again, I hear, it feels so hard to stay here. For all it gives them, Montréal also exposes its 2-qtpoc folks (two-spirited, queer, and trans people of colour) to surprisingly overt, harsh, and exhausting racism. People talk about 2-qtpoc skin and bodies as though they are food or fabric, not part of a human being. There are limited services that 2-qtpoc folks can access without fear of discrimination. In (generally white-dominated) queer spaces, 2-qtpoc commonly hear derision and disbelief about their sexuality, gender identity, and expression. But Montréal’s 2-qtpocs are working hard to change this.
Elisha Lim is presently the proud curator of 2-qtpocmontréal, a showcase of 2-qtpoc artwork and part of pervers/cite, Montréal’s radical queer pride festival. Lim has spent some time reflecting on what it means for 2-qtpoc folks to take up and take back space in the cities and communities where they live, citing that internalized marginalization leaves many 2-qtpoc feeling as though they do not have the same entitlement to space as their white peers. Lim wants 2-qtpocmontréal to be a space for 2-qtpoc folks to unapologetically demand space in Pride, in Montreal, and in Québec – where 2-qtpoc always have been, but that have not always been kind or accepting toward them.
2-qtpocmontréal’s 10-day schedule (August 10-19) includes lectures, performances, workshops, visual arts, and, of course, celebration. (more inside…)