In honor of Pride, we’re chatting with a queer member of our teacher community each week in June.
These conversations are a way to honor the artists and their art. After all, as Oscar Wilde once wrote, “Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” And yet, these conversations also revealed a new thread: again and again, we heard that being part of a community has been a crucial step to creative self-expression.
And so, in the spirit of both individualism and community, of celebrating empathy and expression, we’re excited to share these conversations with you. Below, you’ll find those chats alongside the creative communities and resources that inspire these artists.
Author & Speaker Ashley C. Ford
Who are some leaders who inspire you right now in the queer creative community?
It’s Roxane Gay. It’s Debbie Millman. It’s Phil Picardi, it’s Saeed Jones. My gosh, it’s Fariha Róisín, Arabelle Sicardi. It’s Carmen Maria Machado. I just finished her book — In the Dream House. It’s so amazing.
Those are just some of the people who I find incredibly, incredibly encouraging, and amazing right now.
Read our conversation with Ashley here.
Artist & Illustrator Marie-Noëlle Wurm
Where do you turn for inspiration right now?
Artist and writer Adam J. Kurtz, whose Instagram posts are always incredibly insightful and funny. He talks about emotions and creativity and messing up and trying again, and he’s such an inspiring person all around (We agree! Find our conversation with Adam J. Kurtz below).
Dylan Marron, an actor and activist who makes online videos about social justice, created a podcast called “Conversations With People Who Hate Me,” which I absolutely love. He connects people who have clashed online (including some of his harshest critics), to explore why we believe what we believe and create an opportunity for more understanding. It’s a really surprising, heartwarming and inspiring podcast.
Finally, the podcast “Your Creative Push,” hosted by Youngman Brown. In every episode, he interviews artists and talks about how to work through struggle, how to gather inspiration, and how to map a creative journey. I discovered it because I got invited to be one of his interviewees, and after that, I listened to a bunch of other episodes. It’s so cool to see all the different paths everyone has taken and hear their different perspectives.
Read our conversation with Marie-Noëlle here.
Artist & Author Adam J. Kurtz
Who are your favorite people to follow in the creative LGBTQ+ space?
LGBTQ+ artists & designers:
Cool people I learn from:
My favorite drag queens:
Read our conversation with Adam here.
Author Rumaan Alam
What resources, and writing, do you recommend in the creative LGBTQ+ space?
You hardly need to look to find great examples of queer writing; for the most part, that’s just literature itself. I appreciate that Lambda Literary fosters the work of queer writers, and that the Gay & Lesbian Review talks about such work, but I think readers could follow, as I do, The Paris Review and The New York Review of Books and the Millions and LitHub and find work and writers who are investigating every aspect of contemporary life, including queerness in its infinite variety. Art has long understood the complexity of identity, and the great bastions of art reflect that beautifully.
Read our conversation with Rumaan here.
Artist & Entrepreneur Peggy Dean
What creative resources do you recommend in the LGBTQ+ space?
Not to toot my own horn (okay, yes I am, no shame), but I personally provide a ton of resources on my own platform, The Pigeon Letters.
In addition, Lisa Congdon is a queer artist with wonderful resources including her best selling books Art, Inc. and Find Your Artistic Voice. I also recommend Brené Brown. She is a huge player in providing information on our strength in vulnerability in her books, TED Talks and podcast. Her words let us know how brave we really are.
Read our conversation with Peggy here.