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How ‘Queerlayaan’ attempts to surface queer art as tool for LGBTQIA struggle

With queer artists still not fully accepted, so that enthusiasts of queer art left with no place to go to check queer works, “Queerlayaan” attempts to showcase art as a tool of expression, and maybe to push for LGBTQIA issues.

It helps to give a platform for queer artists, said queer artist Iko Salas, since “we deserve to be seen, and celebrated.”

And so Salas, with Sticker Con MNL, co-organized Queerlayaan, a safe space – if you will – where queer artists can showcase their work, and where those who are into queer art can check. For this iteration of the gathering, most of the works were in stickers.

“It’s high time that we bring more events from the community,” said Grace Marcellana, Sticker Con MNL organizer.

From 250-300 queer artists joined Queerlayaan, and – added Marcellana – there were more people who expressed interest in joining; however, the organizers were “limited by the space”. All the same, “it’s all about visibility. We believe that it (helps to) spread more awareness about the struggles of the queer community.”

“It is very important to showcase queer art, queer content for us to be seen, and for us to shout that we’re here and we’re queer,” Salas said.

In the end, LGBTQIA people should keep fighting, stressed Salas. And with queer artists, in particular, “continue fighting for equality. Let your art be seen. Don’t be silenced through censorship because we’re just expressing ourselves.” – WITH STEPHEN CHRISTIAN P. QUILACIO

The founder of Outrage Magazine, Michael David dela Cruz Tan completed BA Communication Studies from University of Newcastle in NSW, Australia; and Master of Development Communication from the University of the Philippines-Open University. Conversant in Filipino Sign Language, Mick can: photograph, do artworks with mixed media, write (DUH!), shoot flicks, community organize, facilitate, lecture, and research (with pioneering studies under his belt). He authored "Being LGBT in Asia: Philippines Country Report", and "Red Lives" that creatively retells stories from the local HIV community. Among others, Mick received the Catholic Mass Media Awards in 2006 for Best Investigative Journalism, and Art that Matters - Literature from Amnesty Int'l Philippines in 2020. Cross his path is the dare (guarantee: It won't be boring).

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