When Vivek Shraya set out to create the project, What I LOVE about being QUEER he had no idea it would spread across the entire world reaching Peru, Australia, Germany and Chile. But more importantly, he wanted to create a project that was unabashedly celebratory of being queer while presenting a positive message from multiple perspectives.
"I wanted to create something that didn’t take away from the real challenges that queer youth face but instead focused on the positive, to provide an alternate perspective of hope" says Vivek.
As a Human Rights Advisor and the Positive Space Coordinator at George Brown College, the project (that started out as a
and then a
) was largely inspired by the work Vivek does at the college. And while some of the first quotes feature George Brown staff and students, he went on to collect over 200 submissions from all over the world.
"The general response to the project is how comforting and refreshing it is to see something positive about the queer experience, when so often what is shown or experienced is negative" says Vivek.
Most recently, a selection of these submissions have been compiled into a book, made in partnership with George Brown College Diversity, Equity & Human Rights Services.
"I imagined queer youth flipping through page after page of beautiful faces captioned with what people love about being queer and considered how this was something I could have used when I was 16 or 17 and also struggling with being queer" says Vivek.
Vivek explains that a lack of support from family, friends and community often results in feelings of self-hate for queer youth. So not only is a project like this important for increasing someone’s self-image but Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Services also strives to build a positive space and community so students and staff can bring their whole selves to the college and not feel that they have to hide parts of who they are.
All of the proceeds from What I LOVE about being QUEER contribute to George Brown’s
Positive Space Award Application Form
. So far it's raised $7500.
Click here to
purchase What I LOVE about being QUEER.
Find out more about our
Diversity, Equity and Human Rights department and
Positive Space at George Brown.