Story by Julia MacArthur, Photo by Adrian Lysenko

The latest opportunity for young artists and writers in the city is a monthly group in the LGBTQ2+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans* Queer and Two-Spirit) and allies community. The collective, called inVisible Ink, is creating, writing, editing, and publishing, with an eventual view to disseminate the first Northern Queer youth anthology of art and writing.

The first meeting was held on the evening of September 29 at Definitely Superior Art Gallery. The leaders Lora Northway (Die Active Art Collective, Neechee Studio) and Susan Goldberg (Thunder Pride Lit Night, Mama Non Grata) immediately made it clear that all concepts and ideas were on the table—notions of queerness, identity, and culture—while simultaneously not being the sole focus of attention. The shared experience of queerness brought everyone to the room, yet the concepts of queerness expressed were entirely individual. Everyone was there to define themselves through the development of their literary voice, and by coming together to do that, they create a space to find their own people.

The workshops will see youth engaging in collaborative writing, silk screening, illustration, blogging, screenwriting, slam poetry, zine making, documenting their work, creating graphic novels, and developing the anthology for publication. The collective will also be exhibiting for the public at DefSup’s annual Urban Infill event. Goldberg and Northway made it clear that everyone can participate: members can come to one or several groups, or they can join remotely. The Other 10% Youth group was there to speak about how to create a community, and how keeping a community healthy is an ongoing process of negotiation, respect, and understanding.

The people who come to inVisible Ink are given the space to find their people, develop their ideas, and progress their self-expression. Rather than accepting the first thing written down on the page, emphasis is placed on editing and honing ideas, enabling the participants to get their writing to a place that speaks beyond the moment pen is put to paper and potentially to a place more profound and universal. The mini-zines that the collective created in the two hours of the first meeting are evidence of the remarkably moving, real, and relatable experiences that the collective is bringing into the world.

Workshops generally take place on the third Tuesday of each month, from 6-9pm. Find the group on Facebook for more information.