Our last issue of the year. I’m so proud of our new little queer magazine and how far it has come in a year. This issue came together better than I ever could have expected. The diversity and the confidence and the range with which all of these works are composed–it’s been astounding to watch all of these voices hold space together in one body all it’s own.
This body we’ve sewn together is an activist. It is a body that speaks of threats forced by the public and by those meant to heal–to protect. It is a body that has to fight for “normal love” and hope that the God of bunk-beded rooms walks with us through the “graveyard for the gays.”
Each one of these works has moments that gut punch you. Moments like “what’s sadder than a brown boy in handcuffs? A white one.” These needle lines–so small and sharp–they make whole bodies react. The needles that sew this issue together are resilient and unlike the dry needling of orange lamplight that Emma Bolden gives us, they strengthen instead of trying to fix something that doesn’t need fixing.
Like a lot of bodies, genuine friendships–whole houses of friendships–form the foundations of community strength. As such, this issue feels much like Lovett’s “Dwarf House.” It is a love song to those with whom we share space–to those who embolden us by being perfectly themselves. It is a love song to those who smoke with us and joke with us and to those who feel separation from one another so hard that it pulls them closer together.
Winter 2018 is a strange place to be. It is a time both dreary and hopeful. Even though the air in winter is so much lighter and breathable, these days there is a heaviness that won’t seem to go away. This year has been difficult. But these words here in this issue–the words that we find to ease the weight on our chests, they “smell like snow.” Like burning wood and pine.
My wish is that you read this issue and are filled with the anger that spurs empathetic action, the love that fills safe spaces, and with the lightness that accompanies the peacefulness of drifting snow.