McKinley / Canada
“As a non-binary artist, I think finding your space is significant. Growing up in a small town, ideas can be put into your mind of the person you are ‘supposed to be.’ Being an individual is hard when you want to appear normal. Growing up in the church, I think many queer kids struggle to find places in our communities early on because we never feellike those places accepted us. After high school, I found spaces for myself, places where I felt welcomed, places where I saw people who looked like me. Moving out of my hometown to Toronto was one of the best decisions I ever made for myself. Meeting other LGBTQ+ artists, people I still call dear friends to this day. The Toronto gay scene is like no other in Canada.
When our society’s politics and policies only reflect cisnormativity, we believe that is the norm. If we never have our ideas or morals challenged can we be forced into them, not understanding those around us? Queer identity and culture have been demonized and ridiculed for centuries but we never stop to think about the base of our foundation. I think the irony of people bragging about how we’re so lucky to have free will while those same people try to take away people’s rights to exist.
I can’t imagine my life without creating. I’ve always felt at home as an artist. Creating is the only thing I’ve ever experienced that much joy in. I’m currently working on a documentary I’m proud of about Romina and the orphanage industry. Always be proud to be you.”