Exploring LGBTQ+ literature on campus

Representatives from Queer Between the Covers at the book and zine fair. From left: Lucy Uprichard, Joanna Pitsounis and Dorian Fraser. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

Queer between the covers hosts a colourful book and zine fair

Concordia’s EV atrium is often bustling with students, walking in all different directions, in a constant hurry. On Feb. 27, though, students slowed down and took a moment to pass by the Queer Between the Covers (QBtC) book and zine fair. The book fair was one of many events organized for Concordia’s first Winter Pride Week, which ran from Feb. 26 to March 2.

The QBtC book fair collective provides the Montreal community with written works about queer topics by queer authors. According to Dorian Fraser, one of the event’s organizers, the fair had been in the works since September. The collective’s table was filled with zines and literature about LGBTQ+ topics and experiences, which were available for purchase on a pay-what-you-can basis.

“Our goal is to showcase the community’s voice in a public space, so that marginalized individuals feel like they have a safe place,” Fraser said, just as someone walked by and noticed the theme of the fair. “Oh my god, I love this,” they exclaimed. “I feel at home.”

According to Fraser, the fair was also an opportunity for individuals to learn about services available to them on campus and in the community, such as the Centre for Gender Advocacy.

Lucy Uprichard, a member of the QBtC, said many of the zines and books for sale were shipped from the United States, the United Kingdom and even France. A very rare find, Manifeste d’une femme trans et autres textes by Julia Serano, a trans-bi activist, was available for purchase at the collective’s table.

Laid out across tables, the books and zines created a beautiful display of colour. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

Kersplebedeb Publishing and Distribution, a radical left-wing publishing house, had a whole library of books at the fair, including feminist and anti-homophobic content.

Behind the tables, Montreal-based queer freelance artists showcased their artwork, designs, zines, clothing and accessories, like pins.

Artist Kay Nau had her art on display at the fair. “I do a lot of exploration of line work and experiment with the background and the foreground,” she explained. A large part of her work is inspired by her experiences as a black woman, including people’s misconceptions about her hair. Many of the drawings and paintings she had on display featured inter-racial and homosexual couples.

Artist Fat Kitty Rising had patches layed out with embroidered sayings, such as “Anxious mess” and “Fat babe.” They said they uses embroidery as a coping mechanism for their chronic physical pain, as well as their anxiety disorder. Their collection also included patches with the different astrological signs on them.

Many of the other tables exhibited zines about homosexuality and being transgender, as well as comical zines created by the various artists in attendance.

For Sorya Nguon-Bélisle, a photographer selling her magazine, J’ai choke, “showcasing my work like that is vulnerable in the same way people I profile show their vulnerability.”

Feature photo by Alex Hutchins

Disclaimer: Corrections have been made to the original article.

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