With X-aMEN-ing Masculinities, Freewaves extends its multi-year engagement with themes of gender acceptance, diversity, and transition into the often-criticized but under-explored sphere of masculinity.

A NIGHT OF Visual, Video and PERFORMANCE ART at LA State Historic Park on October 6, 2022, 7:30-10:30pm

about masculinities with Cassils, Paul Donald, Alex Donis, rafa esparza, d. Sabela grimes, Asher Hartman, Sarah Johnson, Sean Milan, Phranc, José Guadalupe Sanchez, Austin Young, and MORE!

With Voguing, a BALL, drag kings and more!

Curated by Anne Bray, Marcus Kuiland-Nazario and Anuradha Vikram, the series will compare paradigms of masculinity including male bonding rituals, trans masculinity, masculine models of care, and uses of power.


Introducing a new chapter of our ongoing XaMENing Masculinities project! We’re excited to announce our collaboration with a group of talented artists who will be developing a series of illustrations graphically inspired by interactive print media (comic book strips, storyboards, coloring books, connect the dots, fill in the blanks, etc.) to explore the themes, scenes, and scenarios derived from the data of our live survey on masculinity.

Tapping into their inner child and drawing from their own experiential knowledge, these artists are imagining creative and playful ways to explore the themes and perspectives shared through anonymous responses to the questions, “Who taught you about masculinity? What did they teach you?”

Over the next few months, we will be sharing 3 illustrations from each artist weekly — embedded with interactive elements that prompt us to reflect on and challenge our own understandings of gender expression and embodiments of masculinity, more specifically.

Get to know the featured artist of the week below.
View all illustrators and click-to-download the printable illustrations here.



Kezna Dalz, Also known professionally as Teenadult, is a multidisciplinary artist based in Tio’tia:Ke (Montreal). Her work mostly consists of painting and digital illustration. We recognize it by the raw brush traits and use of bright colors. The recurring themes addressed in her work are feminism, self love and self care, emotional vulnerability and anti-racism. She sometimes tackles difficult subjects, making them accessible through a pastel and soft universe with naive features. 

  • Queer Dance Night: Have fun colouring this joyful dance scene with bright colours that make you happy. The characters in this illustrations feel free and safe and are enjoying themselves.
  • Comic 1: This comic is about seeing yourself for who you truly are and slowly learning to break free from unreasonable expectations put on yourself by society. It’s a comic about the early healing journey of the character. Choose the words that seem fitting. 
  • Comic 2: This comic is about not letting traditional gender roles stop you from being who you are and breaking the pattern. Here, you can narrate what goes on through the characters minds as they are enjoying themselves while still being judged by oppressing eyes. 


Working with a racially, generationally, and gender diverse group of artists, X-aMENing Masculinities brought together works that consider and compare paradigms of masculinity including male bonding rituals, trans masculinity, masculine paradigms of care, and the uses of power. Artists whose lives and work challenge expectations of masculinity, such as those assigned male at birth who identify as nonbinary or femme, also participated. Together, we staged an interactive space where emotionally positive and socially constructive elements that we identify as “masculine” can be reclaimed from the “toxic” paradigm that both dominates and flattens public discourse. Masculinity, which is often though not exclusively represented by men, is the lingua franca of power in a patriarchal social structure. Artists, especially those who use performance, are adept at making power relations both apparent and absurd, a tactic that those who we invited to participate employed.

Why talk about masculinity when everyone else appears to have it far worse? Without a healthy, critical conversation, masculine-identified people can be made to feel like the conversation about gender parity and power-sharing doesn’t need to include them, because it isn’t about them. This reinforces the unequal power dynamics that already exist. On the other hand, while the options and opportunities available to women and gender nonconforming people are perpetually increasing, masculinity appears limited and stagnant in its scope. Many young people suggest that we might improve the future of our species and our planet by eliminating men altogether. What would we lose? What have we already lost, when we make masculinity the enemy instead of making male-identified people into allies?




In anticipation of our October event, we will offer conversations on IG Live throughout the summer of 2022 about masculinities with Buck Angel and Marval A. Rex rafa esparza and Laura Gutiérrez and others