Oops! … I did it again. I vanished for months. Got lost in schoolwork. Oh baby, baby.
Actually, this post has nothing to do with Britney Spears at all. It’s to share an exciting project I’ve been working on with two friends all semester called Collage. Collage is a multimedia study of how LGBTQIA+ students of color at William & Mary use their style to convey aspects of their race, gender, sexuality, and the like. We drew from a lot of different places while coming up with this project, including Elixher Magazine, The Feminist Wire, and Afropunk, with our primary inspiration coming from the work of José Esteban Muñoz in Disidentifications. Gender and sexual minorities occupy a liminal space in society that challenges the majority culture, often by blurring the lines between masculine and feminine. Add in racial minority status as a factor and you have a subsection of people whose very existence transforms dominant pedagogies of race, gender, and sexuality. With this in mind, we set out to explore how personal style functions as a tool of resistance and self-affirmation for our subjects by conducting interviews, holding photoshoots, recording videos, and framing all of our work with an easily-accessed website.
Our subjects were ten queer students of color diverse in gender, race, sexuality, and areas of study. Getting to know them all better under this context was extremely gratifying and enlightening, and I think anyone would benefit from checking it out. There’s lots of video footage, but the audio of our interviews can also be accessed via SoundCloud if you’re on the go.