Queer: “ of, relating to, or being a person whose sexual orientation is not heterosexual and/or whose gender identity is not cisgender ”
Not Queer Enough is dedicated to anyone who feels like they do not fit under a single gender or sexual label.
This series sheds light on a very real stigma within the Queer community, that of rigid exclusivity. Although the LGBTQ+* have historically been discriminated against, the
community itself also perpetuates structures of oppression within their own members. Strict definitions based on heteronormative systems have created divisions that exclude more than they include.
Inspired by Catherine Opie, whose work constantly pushes the boundaries of what we think normal is, I look to capture the day-to-day of queer strangers in the safety of their home, where they can perform for the camera a version of themselves they want the world to see.
These portraits showcase sexually fluid individuals who feel their queerness is inadequate. As I take the time to listen to their stories, their demeanour softens, and with no
superficial gaze, I am able to capture the humanity of the individual in front of me. Stories of pain, struggle and intolerance unify these individuals and many more, as their fluidity is
a source of shame and misunderstanding. Each of them exemplifies the heteronormative hypocrisy on which the queer community is built, and the outdated binary ideologies it
continues to perpetuate.
Like Opie, l share the belief that images can help bring about social change. As I continue this life-long series, I hope to encourage the Queer community to remember that more
than a label, we are simply just human.
* Note that the shortened acronym was used for simplicity. The full acronym is LGBTQQIP2SAA.
Em Laferrière is a photographer whose work explores themes of identity and queerness. Their goal as a photographer is to give others the opportunity to share their story and the version of themselves they want the world to see. They are currently completing their BFA at Concordia University.