Queertopia at Colgate

Briden Schueren and I created Queertopia as a way of engaging communities in meaningful conversation and action to support the LGBTQ+ community and reimagine how queerness is represented. Its first iteration was at Open Ground Studios in Seaside, California in November 2022. Last week we had the pleasure of bringing this experience to students at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.

We painted vibrant portraits of queer students, led multiple workshops and presentations, including our Redrawing Masculinity figure drawing class, created an artistic tribute to Nex Benedict, and hosted a pop-up exhibition where all the paintings were sold to raise money for Trans Lifeline.

We also had the pleasure of being interviewed for the Voices of Resistance podcast hosted by Noha Shahba and Jose Arriaza.  

One of the topics we discussed on the podcast was an article by a conservative gay student published in the school newspaper, condemning the overt sexuality of queer culture and criticizing me as a bad role model because of my Cheesecake Boys coloring books. I appreciated getting a chance to respond to that.

The whole experience of being at Colgate was beautiful. Students and faculty made us feel so welcome, hanging out with us into the wee hours while we painted feverishly to the beat of gay dance music. At the end of the week, they hosted our popup exhibit in Queer Haus, the LGBTQ+ residence hall on campus, and every painting was sold.

I learned more about Briden's story during some of our presentations, and my admiration for him grew even stronger. I feel so grateful for the opportunity to continue collaborating with such an inspiring, incredible artist.

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