“I am 12. I have never thought of the idea of being gay. I am the only one being called gay at school, that I know of, and I am learning very quickly that it is the worst thing one could possibly be. It feels contagious, like I’m walking into school every day with a giant, hideous cloak of gay-ness, and everyone knows it.”
I find myself preemptively mourning the transgenerational communities and cliques and cults and clubs and covens of girls like me that could be and may not be.
Lying in bed, she asked why I thought she’d be into women, and I tried to explain that Indian norms are full of moments Americans consider to be flirting. “Holding hands doesn’t mean anything,” she said. “It must be so sad to not touch your friends.”
“I started a Tumblr called Midwestern Monster Hunt dedicated to my adventures and to sharing stories of the weird, macabre, and strange. I began following blogs devoted to lovingly curating blurry photos dotted with red circles, grainy images of discs in the sky, or puns about Mothman. The more involved in cryptid and paranormal spaces I became, the more queer people seemed to pop up.”
“One thing most people don’t remember when approaching these kinds of situations is that the other person is likely terrified and nervous as well, worried about vulnerability and compatibility and wanting something too much.”
“At the start of migration season the ruby-throated hummingbird has only one goal in mind – she has to almost double her body weight, in order to survive a treacherous trip across the gulf of Mexico. At the start of migration season, the black-haired filmmaker has but one goal in mind: build a strong enough case to survive the gauntlet of work-visa processing.”
Maddy Court, the creator behind Instagram lesbian meme sensation @xenaworrierprincess, teaches us how to make a meme and shares her own meme origin story.
I feel the need to do something to the outside of my body to mark the tremendous shift I’ve experienced inside — to somehow match my inner self to my outer self. But I’m not sure who my inner self is anymore.
You know what sport doesn’t get nearly enough recognition as a gay sport? CURLING.
“There’s an easily accessible narrative in wilderness travel, to pretend we’re living outside of society, and to strive to create a better version of it. The temptation to argue that “x doesn’t really matter out here” rears its head in all of the usual places: race, socioeconomics, gender, age. What I’ve come to struggle with in the canoe, and years later, is which way to go. To continue my first argument, to dismantle gender, or to teach gender – to teach what it means to be a strong, dirty woman, to ask my co-instructor to teach positive masculinity.”
Sometimes being queer and black, bisexual and biracial, feels like contradiction, like too many things, and sometimes I’m not sure that I’d recognize myself if I walked by.
“We rarely left the bedroom and when we did, we quickly returned. We called in to work and on one occasion we both no showed. It was heavenly, but as the old adage says all good things must come to an end.”
“Loving women and loving the land are the two things I told myself I would never do, and somehow, they got all tangled up in each other.”
“Here was a community where race apparently didn’t matter, because we were all humans, made in the image of God. Where a pacifist, sensitive, caring Jesus was the primary male role model. I finally felt at home. I was promised complete acceptance and understanding, and all I had to give was… well, everything.”
“Who was this country-music-loving New Englander? I both hated and loved that she seemed to be playing this garbage as if to impress me.”
What does a winter coat say about the time in your life when you wore it?
Before Angela Lansbury told women they were partly to blame for sexual assault, she helped me with my imposter syndrome.
“I was guilty and heartbroken and I wasn’t ready to let go of her: my first kiss, my first time, my first girlfriend, my first love, my first everything and before that, my best friend.”
“By the end of the 1994 Winter Olympics, I was 12 years old and quite certain I’d picked the right side.”
I was a newly minted queer and everything I knew about queerness was rooted in coming out. I’d heard about the relief that came with coming out from everybody. If TV was to be believed, I would feel free even as my parents stopped looking me in the eye.