A rainbow-coloured arts fest has reached its coming of age and is preparing for an in-depth dissection of the Queer Body, organizers say.

Exposure: Edmonton’s Queer Arts and Culture Festival has reached its third year and has matured past awkward adolescence, festival chair Jennifer Alabiso told Metro.

“We’ve gone from being this idea to an actual festival,” she said. “Having pulled it off now two years and established this expectation it will happen every year, we’ve joined the rank of the actual sexual festivals.”

The nine-day romp begins Friday and runs until Nov. 21.

The Queer Body theme is truly personified in Exposure’s performers, Alabiso said.

The festival’s headliner wrote history in both the queer community and the world of adult entertainment. Buck Angel, the world’s first female-to-male transsexual porn star, will screen a film he created specially for Exposure.

Angel was the obvious choice for the Queer Body theme, Alabiso said, adding he perpetually redefines gender and identity politics.

The Best of Buck will dissect his feature films, with an uncensored, interactive Q & A with audience members.

Queer-themed music, writing, poetry, theatre and comedy also pad the festival’s jam-packed program.

“Whenever you say out loud that you’re a queer arts and culture festival, you’re making a political statement — just by virtue of being willing and able to say it out loud,” Alabiso said.

Although its namesake alone speaks volumes about its content, Alabiso said she feels Exposure empowers participants instead of alienating them.

“We’re really excited about the work we’ve done to broaden our audience, and broaden our exposure, if you will,” she said.

Visit exposurefestival.ca for full program and festival details.

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