It started with a conversation.
Mian Carvin, an artist based in Olympia, Washington, was offended when she heard her mother voice opinions and ideas about queer people. “I was deeply disturbed by the experience and needed a way to rid myself of its effects,” she says. “I’m an artist, so I took the road most familiar.”
That road led to five months of planning, sorting, creating and filming and culminated with a short film called this* is what queer looks like.
“From the beginning, this* is what queer looks like has been a film whose mission is to help dispel misconceptions of queer people in the world by showing our diversity,” says Carvin. She collected participants from her circle of friends, as well as through social media outlets such as Facebook. “The people I have spoken with who made the decision to be in the film are all very happy they did,” she says. “And I am grateful to each and every one of them.” The film’s participants each take their turn stating ideas about identity, from the film’s title declaration to “trans radical” and “militant flamboyance."
When asked why she thought it is important to say and show what queer looks like, Carvin says, “Queer kids are killing themselves because society has made pariahs of them. It has to stop. I hope in some small way my film can help make that happen by simply showing, saying and being who we are. We are a beautiful, vibrant, diverse people who hold an important place in the spectrum of the world’s existence.”