Queer Eyes, Queer Lives: 

Jun 10 – 29 | Tues – Sat 12pm – 6pm | SUM gallery | Free


This must-see exhibition showcases photography from over 60 2SLGBTQIA+ youth who participated in UBC research studies on drug use. These young artists, aged 14 – 29, have created a body of work that largely centres around identity, substance use, housing, and mental health – the results are powerful and challenging, providing a visual snapshot of how 2SLGBTQIA+ youth grapple with these issues. Participation in these research studies was confidential and the artists consented to these photographs being shared, with many adopting pseudonyms or fake names. Coordinated by university researchers Christian Barborini and Trevor Goodyear, together with the Substance Use Beyond the Binary Youth Action Committee, Queer Eyes, Queer Lives offers a visual reflection of how 2SLGBTQIA+ youth in Vancouver are building homes and lives of substance for themselves despite overlapping injustices faced. Queer Eyes, Queer Lives is generously supported by the University of British Columbia, Cannapix, the Canadian Institute of Health Research, and British Columbia Centre on Substance Use.

Visit us at SUM gallery for the exhibition opening on June 10 from 7 – 10pm – with special guest DJ O Show! 

The Substance Use Beyond the Binary Youth Action Committee is a group of nine transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming youth who use(d) substances. Members include Alec N, Apollo Colin-Gray, Charlie, Evergreen, Mazal J, P.T., Reid G, Rio B, and Toby. The committee was established in 2022 and is co-led by University of British Columbia researchers Christian Barborini (they/them) and Trevor Goodyear (he/him). Their work together embraces the power of Queer worldmaking in producing more emancipatory approaches to research and advocacy within the realm of substance use, mental health, and housing. They prioritize community voices and mobilize engaging and creative research methods such as participatory photography.  

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