Queer Concordia graduates make their mark in the world


Ace Lehner: Bringing the trans community into the mainstream

Ace Lehner is PhD candidate at University of California, Santa Cruz, and is an artist, photographer and visual culture scholar. Photo: Courtesy of Ace Lehner

Trans non-binary artist, photographer and visual culture scholar Ace Lehner, BFA 03, is helping advance mainstream acceptance and integration of the trans community by exploring the representations of trans and non-binary people in contemporary art and visual culture. A PhD candidate at University of California, Santa Cruz, Lehner teaches, is a freelance writer and also works as a commercial photographer.

What are you doing now?

Ace Lehner: “In my dissertation I am looking at four different cases of trans self-representation, from high art in museums to selfies on social media. I also just found out that I will be chairing a panel on trans representation at the College Art Association Annual Conference in New York City in February 2019.”

What does being part of the LGBTQ community mean to you and how does it inform your work?

AL: “Personal experiences as a queer person inform both my art and scholarship and each mutually inform one another. Being a member of the queer community provides me with a lens through which to see the world.”

What was your Concordia experience like?

AL: “I was just 20-years-old when I moved to Montreal and studied fine arts at Concordia. Working as a peer counsellor at the Centre for Gender Advocacy, I learned how queer and trans identities intersect with class and racialization. I became more politicized and began to think critically about social-justice issues. It changed my life and I am still trying to do what I can to make the world a better place.”