Celebrating queer joy at FASA’s cabaret

Dancer Dream Louboutin performs at Sala Rossa. Photo by Emma Bell / The Concordian.

Students gathered at Sala Rossa for a night of performances, tarot readings and dancing in support of Concordia University’s Centre for Gender Advocacy.

In the face of the finely-veiled bigotry that is festering in and beyond Canada, the LGBTQ2S+ community continues to exhibit unwavering resilience toward discrimination. Mere days after the “1 Million March 4 Children”—a euphemistic name for what was, unquestionably, an outright demonstration of anti-trans hatred—Concordia’s Fine Arts Student Alliance (FASA) held their final orientation event: their Queer Cabaret.   

The event was held at La Sala Rossa on Montréal’s bustling St. Laurent Boulevard. The venue was full of celebratory energy with flashy, colorful lights drenching the space in reds and blues as the attendees let loose. The performers unleashed their uninhibited joy through spectacles of self-determination—dance, vogue, drag and acrobatics. The audience, full of awe and pride, cheered them on.  

Students compete on stage for best performance at Sala Rossa. Photo by Emma Bell / The Concordian

As burlesque dancers took to the stage and competed for best performance, tarot readers told fortunes in a mysterious booth off to the side of the dance floor. After the performances, DJ Mcherry’s set filled the room with a club-like atmosphere, welcoming the audience to take to the stage and dance the night away. 

The Cabaret was the second completely sold-out event held by FASA this month. The overwhelming turn-out demonstrated the student body’s ardent support of LGBTQ2S+ members and their willingness to show up in support. This echoed the same hopeful numbers that came out to counter-protest the 1 Million March.

“I think this shows the amazing community that we have in Montréal,” said a FASA organiser to the crowd. “The best way to move forward and keep each other strong is through community organising, showing solidarity and taking care of everyone around you, especially trans and nonbinary people and everyone who felt affected by the 1 Million March.”

Students gather at Sala Rossa for FASA’s queer cabaret night. Photo by Emma Bell / The Concordian

What emerged from the evening was a reinforced belief in the power of collective energy and joy as revolutionary forces. As we continue to battle injustice, we must continue to prioritise our physical and mental health.

The event hosted a fundraiser for Concordia’s Centre for Gender Advocacy, whose mission is to provide a safe haven for the university’s queer community. The organisation participated in the event with a pop-up table full of resources for students, ranging from free condoms and pamphlets on safe sex practices to guides on how to access gender-affirming care at Concordia. 

“We will continue to do everything in our power as a small organisation to provide services, programming and advocacy that helps as many people as we can live safely and boldly in their agency,” stated Concordia’s Centre for Gender Advocacy in a recent announcement on instagram. 

Learn more about the centre on instagram @centreforgenderadvocacy or at their website.

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