For years I have been engaging with stories around trauma. Part of it was therapeutic, to know that there were others who felt the same as me and, in a way, we created this invisible community. We knew when to check in on each other and when to shut up and just listen. It felt so powerful and heartbreaking at the same time.
I started photographing queer people in Toronto about 4 years ago. The biggest part of photographing and speaking to people about trauma is that you notice how we pull ourselves out, how we even manage to get out of bed (sometimes.) I knew how I managed to keep surviving: my queer fam. I never feel as much love and care as when I’m with my queer fam. We just get it.
I wanted to use photography both as a tool of visibility and as a way to create new realities; where love and care are centered within our spaces. To place the camera not as an outsider but as another person within the space. Photography is a dynamic tool for us because we can create dfferent realities with different imaginations of ourselves.
SOFT: transformative queer love and care explores the different manifestations of love and care and the intersections with politicized bodies, protest and reclamation of space.
This exhibition holds images from queer nightlife; visualizing queer bodies in spaces that we have claimed as ours. Queer bars have long been spaces of protest, of performance and mobilizing community. Images of our chosen fams, how we hold and care for each other and how we hold each other accountable. It holds the voices, sounds, words and spaces of our queer lives and how we share, care and love for eachother. This process of archiving and documenting queer love and care isn’t just about the present, it is about imagining a queer future where we exist.