Of ‘Masc’ & Masks

Exploring Queer Masculinities

Of ‘Masc’ & Masks: Exploring Queer Masculinities is a discussion based initiative which engages students who are interested in exploring, challenging, and growing around their experiences of masculinity and sexuality. Students are invited to explore and develop their own cognition and emotional intelligence through a framework rooted in racial justice and class analysis. Through bi-weekly gatherings, we come together to discuss issues and concepts relevant to our own collective journeys and seek avenues for transformation and empowerment. 

In Fall, 2016 this program, as part of the larger Tagliabue Initiative for LGBTQ Life, welcomed the inaugural cohort of Out For Change Fellows. The Fellowship honors the Center’s history and the student led Out for Change campaign from Fall, 2007 that led to the formation of the Center.

In its first iteration the initiative ran across the academic year and brought together 12 students for six facilitated and informed discussions across the Fall semester. Shared readings and progressive dialogue provided a holding space for participants to develop their own knowledge about masculinity and, in the context of their own experiences, identify pathways forward. In the Spring semester, fellows used the knowledge gained to create their own service leadership projects impacting the Georgetown community and beyond. More information about these projects is available below. 

Sample of Spring 2017 Projects

Color Me Queer: A Community-Driven Art Project offered a creative space, spanning two days, inviting the Georgetown University community to explore their own relationship to masculinity. On the first day the project held space for people to depict their relationship to masculinity through a visual art medium of their choice. On the second day, artists were invited to share about their art with others through a showcase of the work. The Art Show invited attendees to reflect on their own relationships to masculinity through their interpretation and experience of the art. 

“I thought the space was really inviting and welcoming, and I thoroughly enjoyed the ability to critique masculinity through art. To me, my own personal rejection of masculinity as toxic and fragile manifested itself in my art.”

“I realized what came to mind for me thinking about masculinity was mostly negative, didn’t think about masculinity at all in terms of how it is part of my own identity (in many ways it is)! I was only thinking about masculinity in other people and how that presents itself, and that wasn’t something I confronted while creating my art, but after.”

The Rainbow Voices student publication called upon current undergraduates and alumni of Georgetown University to contribute their work in any form, with the intention of making space for the queer community and its allies to share thoughts, feelings, and journeys through stories, artwork, poetry, or any other method of self-expression. 

Letter From the Editors

Rainbow Voices was born out of the need for more open, authentic, vulnerable LGBTQ expression on campus. Though Georgetown does not provide many outlets for queer art, it certainly has no shortage of artists. By creating Rainbow Voices, we hoped to give these artists the space they needed to share themselves with the world- free from limits, free from rejection, and free from judgment.

We have broken the publication into four sections: Suppression, Depression, Expression, and Redemption. Inspired by the artwork of Samu Boyne, who also designed the cover of this publication, we believe these four categories encapsulate many of the common themes in the LGBTQ journey. It is our hope that reading these pieces can serve as a reprieve from the pressure and self-regulatoin of everyday life. It should also serve as encouragement. Know that, no matter where you are in your journey, you are not alone. 

As members of the LGBTQ community, we all ahve experience sacrificing authenticity. Genuine expression, it seems, is a luxury so often unafforded to us by the larger heteronormative world. The worlds you will find within these pages are raw and moving expressions of our queer selves in the form of poetry, pose, and visual art. Our journey is sad. Our journey is celebratory. But above all else, our journey is our truth. 

We would like to extend a special thank you to the LGBTQ Resource Center, for the guidance and support that brought us todether, to Alli Kaufman, Jack Townsend, and Margaux Fountaine, for their help designing and creating our publication, and to all our artists, who have exhibitied brave vulnerability in offering their dearest works for submission.


Browse the entire Rainbow Voices publication below.

The year long program was facilitated by Julian Haas (LGBTQ Resource Center) with guest facilitators joining throughout the year.

For more information about the initiative, please contact lgbtq@georgetown.edu.