At Panel 9, Queer in the North, we were treated to a panel of five amazing people. Each made the audience feel welcome and gave many of us the permission to be ourselves by way of them being themselves.
The ideas discussed ranged from what art means for Indigenous youth to how to deal with the disapproval of community members. Each panelist shared their experiences and we left feeling a bit freer. That is the role and importance of visibility: to let people know that it is not strange or weird to love who you love. We are all human and deserving of love and loving without the fear of persecution.
Timimie said a quote that went along the lines of, “Art is the most dangerous thing we have, art is the only voice we have left.” And that resonated with me as someone who is considering the importance of art in our world. Art shares stories, art influences politics, and art celebrates the emotions that come along with being human.
I want to thank the panelists for their amazing talk at Queer in the North, as well as every panelist I’ve heard so far who shared themselves with us. I feel more confident in who I am every day.
The Arctic Arts Summit’s Knowledge Creators Next program brings together northern Indigenous post-secondary students, young activists and emerging professionals to attend the Summit. Participants in the Knowledge Creators Next (KCN) program will be sharing their daily reflections—in the form of tweets, photographs, poems, sketches, videos or other short responses—on the Arctic Arts Summit’s digital platform and across social media.