Interview: Stephanie Elmitt
Photographs: Taby Cheng
Styling: Sara Graorac

 

Shanique (She/Her) and Paige (They/Them) are our goals kind of love—they’re complimentary without overshadowing, and supportive while making space.

Paige is a queer event producer, space maker, and entrepreneur. Shanique, a DJ, community builder, and equity & inclusion consultant. It’s safe to say these two are incredible sources of energy and light in their shared and respective communities.

We chatted with them, via email, about how they’re managing to stay inspired, stay engaged, and stay optimistic at home.

 


Shanique wears the Nora Ring and Aida Ring in Gold. Paige wears the Aida Ring and Austyn Ring, Collette Necklace, and Black Pearl Swirl Earrings in Sterling Silver.

Has quarantine changed how you keep your home/space? If so, how?

Paige: I'd say things are definitely a bit more clean and tidy! I've really been leaning into my best domestic self lately. I finished a bunch of home projects too which was incredibly satisfying.


As creators of space—music, events, community, etc.—how are you staying creatively fulfilled when your medium has been so limited?

Shanique: What I have always loved the most about my job, music and event organizing is the ability it has to bring community together. I try to fulfill that part of me by staying in regular contact with my loved ones to prevent myself from falling too deeply into disconnection or isolation. Sometimes that means setting up a FaceTime hang out with my best friend or sending my sister whatever new song I’m dancing in my bedroom to that day- just little things that remind me that I am part of a greater community.

Paige: I actually just did my first live virtual drag gig last week, and it was so fulfilling and inspiring! But honestly, my biggest calling lately has been getting back to basics -- focusing on my mental health and fitness, cooking at home, and reading. I think my twenties were overall a bit hectic, and the pandemic has helped me catch up on rest and prioritize the important things in my life. I've found creative outlets in car care, gardening, and as of recently... Christmas crafts!!




Paige wears Small Abbie Earrings and Mateus Necklace in Sterling Silver (Left), and the Collette Necklace, Tosh Ring in Terracotta and Black Pearl Swirl Earrings (Right).

 


Shanique wears Ophelia Earrings in Sterling Silver, Magnes Ring in Gold and Sterling Silver, Candice Ring in Gold, and Ophelia Ring in Sterling Silver.



How can people support LGBTQIIA+ events and spaces right now?

Shanique: Follow your favourite DJs/ performers online and support any digital events they are involved in. If you don’t feel up for logging in for the whole time, buy a ticket anyways if you have the means to! If you're unable to support online events financially, you can re-share the content through your platforms and support by spreading word to your friends. It’s such a weird time to organize any sort of event and the littlest support can often go a long way!

Paige: What Shanique said! Also, when events do come back, I think it could be a bit of a struggle for organizers, so it will be super helpful if folks who have the means are able to come out and support, or even just buy tickets. It'll be challenging enough for folks to figure out all the new complex pieces (and costs) involved in producing community space in Covid-safe ways, so my big hope is that there will be enough community energy that producers and artists will be able to get back to creating space, and keep their spirits up enough to keep going. It'll be a strange new world to navigate, but I 100% know we can and will figure it out.


What have you been consuming since quarantine started? What are you watching, reading, listening too, eating—give us the goods!

Shanique: So much stuff! I was consuming an abundance of banana bread early pandemic but sadly my obsession with baking has dissipated. We’ve gotten very into television and podcast consumption. We just finished and very much enjoyed Lovecraft Country. Our guilty pleasure watch is Selling Sunset. My favourite podcasts right now are, You’re Wrong About and This is Love.

Paige: Salmon chowder and pesto gnocchi were some recent kitchen wins—feeling proud about those!! I share Shan's picks for TV since we pretty much watch everything together, but I also want to shout out the podcasts Still Processing, On Being, and Crackdown, which is about Vancouver's opioid crisis. I'm currently reading The Skin We're In and Trans Bodies, Trans Selves.




Shanique wears the Katalina Earrings, Effy Necklace and Sofia Necklace layered in Gold.

 

Paige wears the Simone Necklace and Katalina Necklace in Sterling Silver (Left), and the Twin Peaks and Ball Ring in Sterling Silver (Right).


Any tips & tricks on how to feed a romance while being stuck indoors?

Shanique: This October I got really into watching spooky stuff and there’s just something about the adrenaline rush of a scary movie coupled with cuddling extra close on the couch and grabbing each other’s hands under the blanket that feels very romantic in a very simple way. Also, Paige is a phenomenal cook and their willingness to continuously create delicious meals for me definitely adds to our daily romance!


Lastly, where can people help right now in their community?

Shanique & Paige: Someone in our community is currently organizing a fundraiser to support her community in coastal Honduras. The money will be going directly to Black, Indigenous, Trans and low income folks who have been deeply impacted by two devastating climate induced hurricanes. They are just a couple thousand away from their goal and the GoFundMe has slowed down so it would be great to boost this!!!

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