We decided to start off a little differently for day one. A few minutes after 1:00, we all gathered into a circle and gave thanks to the experiences, places, cultures, families, and ancestors that brought us not just to the space but to who we are today as individuals. We thanked the journeys we took and continue to take. And we acknowledged the intertwined histories that enabled us to be here.
For the LGBTQIA+ camp, this felt like the perfect way to start; thinking about the fraught histories and forgotten peoples and voices that have paved the way for so many queer and trans people today to be who they are or at least explore what that means. It is important we acknowledge and show gratitude to everyone who has brought us here and allowed this type of a camp to take place, both our blood ancestors and our community ancestors. Known and unknown. It all transpired into us sharing this space with each other for the next week.
After our intro hui and the sharing of community agreements from each team, we launched into a short intro of gender and orientation terms. The participants played a game to match definition to term and people were able to match things up without much difficulty. While these terms are the ones most used and the ones people are most familiar with, film mentor Inez was sure to remind everyone that the terms presented aren’t an exhaustive list and that sexuality and gender are much more expansive than a slideshow could capture. Taking into account the branches that stem from each term as well as different genders and sexualities that exist outside of the colonial language and mindset, there is so much more to these experiences than we can possibly explain within a day. But this is an excellent launching pad for people who want to know more and it helps give people a start.
The rest of the day saw participants learning camera hands on with the mentors. Some have been in the previous programs. Others are completely new to filmmaking as a medium. It is practice for some and a whole new world for others. We are excited to see where this week takes everyone.