Aaron Beaumont, a St. Thomas University graduate, founded QT Fatties in May 2021 because they were inspired to create a space where people like them, plus-size members of the LGBTQ2IA+ community, could meet and support each other.
The QT Fatties Art Market, on Oct. 30, will feature LGBTQIA2+ and plus-size artists showcasing their talents at the Charlotte Street Art Centre.
“It’s important to have … a space to talk about the challenges and the joys of being queer, trans and fat,” said Beaumont.
QT Fatties is an online grassroots collective that provides resources as well as a safe community for people who are queer, transgender and/or fat.
The QT Fatties Art Market will feature eight different artists who are part of the QT Fatties community.
For featured artist Becca Langille-Watkins, this is a step towards inclusivity and visibility for plus-sized people.
“In the gay community, there is still that ideal [that] … a gay person is really skinny, very androgynous usually, and that’s not how everybody looks,” said Langille-Watkins. “There’s people of all different shapes and sizes that are in all different genders and all different sexualities.”
Langille-Watkins is the owner of Pazuzuspetals where they create jewelry and resin art. They said that through their art form, they have the opportunity to express different sides of themself.
“I guess I’m not always good at expressing my interests, verbally. So, showing it physically with things is just so much easier and so much nicer,” said Langille-Watkins.
While QT Fatties was made for queer, plus-size people, they aren’t the only people who have felt the impact of the visibility the community offers.
Christa Martin describes herself as a “white, fat disabled artist,” and she is the only non-LGBTQ2IA+ artist that will be featured during the market with her jewelry business All The Pretties.
Martin is a fan of QT Fatties’ social media posts and said she shares similar values with the community. But, she said it was the openness towards plus-sized people that made her feel seen.
“I haven’t really come across any other local groups with that specific support,” said Martin. “It feels really good to see yourself represented amongst others that feel the same and are the same.”
The market will also provide a portion of it’s profits towards launching the QT Fatties gender-affirming garment program. Each vendor will be able to decide how much of their profits they wish to donate to the cause. The program will offer gender-affirming garments like binders, gaffes, packers and sex toys to plus-size members of the LGBTQ2IA+ community in New Brunswick.
As the organization’s first public event, Beaumont said they hope this event will bring more awareness to minorities within the QT Fatties community and allow them to feel a sense of pride and belonging.
“We exist and we’re here and we deserve opportunities. We deserve community,” said Beaumont. “We deserve spaces to be celebrated and to come together, even though we face particular challenges because of our queer and trans identities or our fat bodies.”