Queer Futurity

Brooke Hoffert in interview with the artists, Bridget Bailey, Veronica Leto, and Rae Yo Young.

Zeitgeist is pleased to present Queer Futurity, guest curated by Brooke Hoffert of FEMME Gallery. This exhibit opens to the public on November 5, 2022, 12-6pm. It will be on view through November 23.


In Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity José Esteban Muñoz explores the concept of queer futurity through the lens of Ernst Bloch where they state, “Queerness is not yet here. Queerness is an ideality. Put another way, we are not yet queer. We may never touch queerness but we can feel it as the warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality.” This warm feeling consists of dreams for a queer future where our most outlandish, utopianistic, safe, equal, and queer visions can become a reality.

This utopianistic potentiality can be seen in works by Bridget Bailey, Veronica Leto, and Rae Yo Young. These three artists explore the idea of queer futurity through various mediums.


Veronica Leto

How does your queerness interact with your art? 

Giving myself permission to be queer is the ultimate motive of my work. And, I am not talking about my sexual or gender identity, I am talking about embracing the ways in which I am a societal weirdo and encouraging those parts of myself to lean heavily toward nonconformity. In the Fatshion body of work, I am asking the viewer to consider a space entirely reliant on queer aesthetics. Isn’t it more exciting, more vulnerable, more human? I am asking them to consider the greater value of a fat model, a nonbinary model, a queer model. I am asking them to consider how the dominant, thin, heteronormative narrative of a fashion magazine has harmed them. I believe the very presence of queerness can heal shame and perfectionism and the ultimate exclusivity that those ideologies breed.  


What does queer futurity mean to you? 

Queer futurity means hope and possibility to me. It’s a goal that we maybe won’t physically reach in our lifetime — futurity is conceptually based on being better than the now — but we relish in the solidarity of being part of the shift forward. The whole point of queerness is to always be investing deeper into alternatives to the past in an effort to reach future utopia. They silenced us so we embraced our loudness. The trauma of the past informs the compassion we have for ourselves and others. We answer isolation with collectivity. We answer injustice with resilience. We party and memorialize and protest in the same breath.  



What would you like the future of the queer art community to look like? 

I would like the future of the queer art community to be a place of extreme inclusivity, free from hierarchy, trauma informed, gentle, and deliciously bizarre. To accomplish that I believe the community must be put in the hands of its most oppressed members. Nothing makes me feel less queer than when I encounter white supremacy, ableism, and patriarchy in the queer art community. I wish us all to do the slow, uncomfortable work to unlearn the blueprint of the oppressor so we can stop replicating it in spaces that have been created as an alternative to hate. I also want softness. Queer is inherently political, but there is so much more to our community than rage at erasure. We have this capacity to share fullness, desire, and self compassion that is awe inspiring. I want to see shows that depict queer as normal, as nostalgic, as almost dull in an uncanny way. 

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the possibilities of risk.



Bridget Bailey

How does your queerness interact with your art?

For me it used to interact very viscerally but covertly, when I was making representational oil paintings that were self portraits of my body (clothed, often about the clothes but also the body). I was having lots of thoughts and emotions and feelings about being queer during the time period in which I made that work, but not necessarily sharing them. Now, it is still visceral, but more poetic than covert I think. There are overt suggestions of joy in the work, and I think of it as a shared and queer joy. There are also notes of melancholy, to make the joy possible and to connect with the viewer. There is certainly something of a private world operating in my paintings, as I use symbols and iconography and references that maybe only I understand at first look, but I am inviting you the viewer into that world as well through making the painting and showing it to the world. 


What does queer futurity mean to you?

Queer Futurity for me means something unknown, which is a little daunting, but also inextricably tied with hope, which enables trust. I trust and hope for a Queer Future that I cannot yet know but that I can fathom, due to moments of queer joy that I have experienced thus far. It feels safe there. For me in a large part it means a coming together of individuals to make change for the better, and to have fun doing it. 


What would you like the future of the queer art community to look like?

I think the queer art community offers a space in which the queering of almost anything (anything?) is possible. This in turn means we can invent new ways of being and doing. I think community and collaboration are key, honoring one another’s ideas and experiences and thus becoming wiser together and uplifting one another. 


What inspires you?

I am inspired by wildflowers, Eileen Myles and Mary Oliver and James Schuyler’s poems (and the poems of many others), seashells, other people’s art, clothes, sneakers, craft stores, classrooms, Sunday School, the beach, old photos, t-shirts, my bed, music—especially Dr. Dog, Kate Bush, and Le Tigre, doilies, fancy cakes, Florine Stettheimer, pillows, my friends, people I don’t know, dogs, cats (my cat, Georgie,) my old Nickelodeon alarm clock, my co-workers, my parents, my brothers, Mary Liza (so much so that I draw her feet), my teachers old and new, holiday decorations, birthday decorations, non-fancy cakes, garden hoses, my dad’s garden, this phrase: “as above, so below,” butterflies, symmetry, asymmetry, handkerchiefs, deviled eggs, and much more.



Rae Yo Young

How does your queerness interact with your art? 

I see the world through the lens of being black, southern, and queer. It affects how I

navigate the world, my empathy for others, and the way I express myself and my work.


What does queer futurity mean to you? 

Futurity = the future time. I’ll start with my views on queerness: queerness defies time. Queerness is the ancient past, the present, and future. I think queer futurity is an optimistic approach to the future of queerness. That we will have our safe space, our utopia.


What would you like the future of the queer art community to look like? 

I want the future of the queer art community to remember to keep supporting itself. To always remember that at the end of the day we have each other. We are the one’s giving each other a chance, the one’s helping to make each other’s dreams come true. We uplift one another! No one will understand us on the level that we understand each other and that’s okay because in a lot of ways that feeling is sacred. If we want to gatekeep something, it should be our connection/understanding of each other. That’s for us to have, and for them to admire. We have to remember to be intersectional within the community! And I will always want more black femme representation !!!!!! Do better. <3


What inspires you?

My Mother


lavish stories

HR Giger

Disciplined people


Early 2000s playstation ads


Veronica: @eveyinorbit
Bridget: @bridgmbailey

Brooke Hoffert is a curator and writer based in Nashville, Tennessee specializing in LGBTQ+ visual and performing arts. They hold a master’s degree in History of Art from University College London located in London, England. Inspired and intrigued by the depths of queerness, they explore themes of love, utopianism, and queerness through writings and exhibitions. They started FEMME Gallery in 2022 to explore the vast community of queer artists in the United States south. They are a contributing writer for Floorr Magazine, an artist-run, London-based publication spotlighting emerging and established creatives. Their curatorial practice goal is to create a space where inclusivity, connectivity, and thought-provoking art can thrive.