Hello humans of the internet! Our Summer of Herstory is winding down and as we look forward into September, it’s only natural that one might begin to think about, you know, SCHOOL. Our August/September/October theme is, therefore, SCHOOLED.
In addition to debuting our new College Lesbianager (we haven’t made that decision yet, but we will!), we’ll be looking for stories that are somehow related to queer issues and/or feminist issues AND somehow related to school or education in general.
For example, a photojournalism project about Harvey Milk, the all-gay high school in New York City, a personal essay on what happens when your parents can pay for school or you can be gay but not both at the same time or a feature about students fighting for a gay identity on Religious Campuses.
It doesn’t need to be a story about students, it can be about teachers, anyone who works in the school system, any aspect of education. There’s a lot of room to get creative here, and as usual we encourage submissions from women of all ages and backgrounds!
You’re also encouraged to submit personal essays, of course. Please refrain from submitting essays on the topic of “How [All-Women's College/Study Abroad Program/Boarding School] Made Me Gay.” If you’d like to submit a personal essay about growing up gay in Catholic School, you need to come up with a really unique clever twist, because you would be really surprised how many of those we get!
More examples of SCHOOLED posts from Autostraddle:
+ Can Queer Sex Queer Sex Ed?, by Mae & Rachel
+ The Lesbian Insider’s Guide to 40 Queer-Friendly College Campuses, by a lot of people
+ The entire College Lesbianage Series.
More examples of SCHOOLED-esque posts from other websites:
Thriving in Hostile Territory: Black Feminism in the College Classroom (2010), Crunk Feminist Collective – “My belly is so full of air (my anger) and pity (other people’s bullsh*t) that I sometimes feel pregnant. And because I am a black woman who writes and speaks authoritatively about lived experience and “grown up words” (like racism and sexism), I am immediately implicated. My body is implicated. My authority is implicated. My intelligence is questioned.”
The Cuddle Puddle of Stuyvesant High School: Love and the Ambisexual, Heteroflexible Teen (2005), New York Magazine – “Researchers find it shocking that 11 percent of American girls between 15 and 19 claim to have same-sex encounters. Clearly they’ve never observed the social rituals of the pansexual, bi-queer, metroflexible New York teen.”
One Town’s War on Gay Teens (2012), Rolling Stone – “In Michele Bachmann’s home district, evangelicals have created an extreme anti-gay climate. After a rash of suicides, the kids are fighting back.”
Racism 101: Race and the College Freshman (2011), Racialicious – “Maybe I’m naïve, but when I stepped on the campus of my New England public university, I was dumbstruck by the whiteness of it all. I was literally the only person of color in a sea of white people.”
Accounting For Queer Studies (2012), Pretty Queer – “Queer people in America have an unhealthy addiction to institutional approval.”
Coming Out in Middle School (2009), New York Times Magazine – How 13-year-old kids are dealing with their sexual identity — and how others are dealing with them.
The Freedom to Choose Your Pronoun (2011), New York Times – Katy is one of a growing number of high school and college students who are questioning the gender roles society assigns individuals simply because they have been born male or female.
The entire School’s Out series from Bitch Magazine.
Send your story pitches to Laneia [at] Autostraddle [dot] com by August 10th. Include a resume and 2-3 writing samples (either PDFs from print publications or link to your work online). If you don’t have any writing/publishing experience and/or clips, we ask that you submit your entire manuscript (or most of it) instead of just the pitch. We also accept pitches for photoessays. There’s no pay, but everybody loves exposure and we can reimburse you for any expenses incurred while writing the article. If there is a more in-depth project you’d like to produce that might require a budget, include that in your pitch.
Special note: One of the Top Ten Problems With Submissions is the problem of “tone” — specifically that we get a lot of pitches and articles that are written in a very academic tone. We like our articles to be conversational, unique, exciting, smart and accessible — but most importantly, FUN! (Not all the “examples from other publications” reflect what we want w/r/t tone, the best gauge for that is the Autostraddle examples listed above.)