Inside Out Is Holding Space for Queer Film

Fashion
Photography by Albert Hoang (@callmealbs)

Preserving 2SLGBTQ+ art is more important than ever — this Toronto event did so in style.

Nothing bonds us like a good story. Total strangers can come together over shared feelings brought on by a piece of art, thus shifting the attitudes that shape the world. At its best, this special kind of narrative work holds space for difficult conversations, vulnerability and empathy. In marginalized communities, how stories are told — and who gets to tell them — is key to nurturing change. Enter: Inside Out.

Inside Out Outbid event LGBTQ films 2023
Photography by Albert Hoang (@callmealbs)

The Toronto-based not-for-profit charity exists to challenge perspectives through the promotion, production and exhibition of films made by and about LGBTQ+ people in 2023 and beyond. For over three decades, it has worked to build connections by celebrating queer films in Canada and around the world. In today’s fraught cultural landscape, fostering these relationships is more important than ever.

Inside Out Outbid event LGBTQ films 2023
Photography by Albert Hoang (@callmealbs)

This is why, on December 7, the organization hosted Outbid, a silent auction and party to support its cause. Beyond filmmaker initiatives, youth engagement work and year-round screenings, Inside Out’s most paramount work comes from its annual film festivals. Held in Toronto and Ottawa, these events not only showcase movies but craft a tangible touchpoint of queer art in Canada.

Inside Out Outbid event LGBTQ films 2023
Photography by Albert Hoang (@callmealbs)

Hosted by the impossibly glamorous drag queen Minhi Wang in a bedazzled purple ballgown, it was a festive affair with the goal of ensuring the future of LGBTQ+ films in 2023. Guests gathered in Toronto’s East Room — an airy restored warehouse tucked away in the Riverside neighbourhood — where they could sip signature cocktails, nibble on hors d’oeuvres and enjoy live entertainment while perusing silent auction offerings.

Inside Out Outbid event LGBTQ films 2023
Photography by Albert Hoang (@callmealbs)

By bidding on items donated by local businesses and artists, attendees were helping Inside Out raise critical funds for its festival.“It’s hard to find the words after the last few years that we’ve had,” a speaker said before bidding began on Outbid’s centrepiece selection, a rare Salvador Dalí relic. “Being here together is really special for us… You’re here, you’re bidding, you’re spending money and investing in our next generation of queer filmmakers and queer creators.”

Inside Out Outbid event LGBTQ films 2023
Photography by Albert Hoang (@callmealbs)

The fête was a much needed balm of warmth, support and safety in a time when so much feels precarious. Bringing together some of the most artistically inclined folks from around the city, the night was about giving back in style while celebrating the stories that bring us together.

Below, click through FASHION’s best-dressed attendees of the evening.

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