A person’s identity and self image is a complex cocktail, a mix of impulses, convictions, intuitions, and emotions. For LGBTQ+ people, crafting an identity is a source of enormous liberation, a reclaiming of ground from an outside world that has always dictated the terms.

 

Identity is sometimes volatile, sometimes a thing of joy. Sometimes we live in harmony with our self-image; other times we do battle with it or for it. And as LGBTQ+ people know, even the state can intervene into this process — forcefully, even violently.

June is pride month, and so we offer this program as just one meditation of the states of our identities; what they are, how they can be wielded—by and against LGBTQ+ people—and how our notion of them can be expanded. In some cases, we have foregrounded necessary depictions of queer struggle. In others we turn to portraits of confused identities; their lack of clarity and their fumbling search for answers stand as contrasts and counterpoints to the fights queer people have to wage daily. These are struggles to be understood and recognized. These are identities they themselves have forged over years of negotiating with an often-hostile outside world.

This isn’t always a comfortable line. But we celebrate the struggle in its own right. As brutal as the process can be, there is nothing quite like the joy of finding and claiming your own identity. This is our way of celebrating that.

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