Some of the founding members of the Bushwig drag festival in Brooklyn (including Merrie Cherry, Horrorchata, AJA, Dahlia Sin and Untitled Queen) and their allies have come together in a photoshoot for a serious stance against being underrepresented as queer people of color, in their “communities”, and across America. The image, created by photographer Fred Attenborough, was inspired by diversity covers like Vanity Fair’s 2014 Hollywood Issue and Candy Magazine’s transgender The Role Models cover 2014-2015. “I want to make sure everyone knows how beautiful my QPOC friends are”, says Attenborough. In this current climate, safe spaces are very important. The photoshoot makes a safe space for us to play and be free to be ourselves. Sometimes, the time we spent together is more important to me that the final result.” Check it out below, and what some of the queens had to say about the project. Also, you can purchase the pic at wearestillhere.bigcartel.com. All proceeds go to F2L– a New York City-based group of individuals doing support work for incarcerated queer and trans people of color.
“The project was meant to bring all the queens of color from Brooklyn together, ask the public, ‘Do we have a seat at the table of this country?’, and sound the alarm that we are still here and we are not going anywhere. We all are wearing either red, white, or blue, in solidarity as a community, as Americans, and because who doesn’t like a color theme?!?!”
“It is important to acknowledge that we are proud of our beauty and strength and where we come from, as a beacon of browness to all those other kids out there with white fetish being shoved down their throats in advertising, society, and the arts. So often, we get whitewashed out of our own communities, and to have a voice and a position, we have to organize it ourselves.”
“America needs to know that queer people of color do have a voice. In fact, our voices…they’re so loud that we don’t even have to speak for you to hear them. I decided to do this project as solid proof that this is very true.”
“I loved doing this project because I feel, as a community filled with so many ‘brown girls and boys’ of color, we should be sticking together and showing everyone who looks up to us that we can accomplish anything, no matter our skin color or size. We are all beautiful!”
“My existence and identities are a consequence of politics, and I have always chosen to manifest that in my drag – starting with my name Emi Grate, since I am a migrant. The election is a time for movements, changes and transitions…where voices of minorities and activists are critical. Thus, I lent my skills, body and image to the project.”
“I think this project is important because we as queens of color get to show out, stand up and be a huge voice for our community. We are now stronger than ever and we won’t give up on this fight for full acceptance.”
(from left to right (MiscAllaneous DomTop, Miz Jade, Princess Bitch, Mocha Lite (laying down), Lilith LeFae, Emi Grate, Rify Royalty, Merrie Cherry, Horrorchata, Hannah Lou, Untitled Queen, Kandy Muse, Dahlia Sin, Momo Shade (laying down), and Aja)