Photos by Zoë Collins/OutWrite
Collage by Elliott Couts/OutWrite
This letter was originally published in our Winter 2023 print issue “Culture.”
OutWrite was founded 44 years ago as an underground beacon for community in a hostile world. We are far from hunky gay daddies taking out ads in our paper and dozens of “Homo Happenings” gracing our pages like we did in the 80s and 90s (unfortunately). We are far from cruising in the third floor Ackerman bathrooms, where queers were desperate to skirt anti-gay sex laws that weren’t repealed until 2003. We are also far from being a publication that excluded transness from its collective identity until the mid-2000s.
OutWrite is a time capsule through which we can observe the trajectory of queerness. Now we’re the most successful newsmagazine on campus and a trans man leads the charge. Now the beacon boldly beckons to every queer in hopes of rebuilding and reconceptualizing our role in history.
That history necessitates our role as culture makers. We are flawed, but we are also an opportunity to push forward. At a time where our autonomy and mere existence is once again being stifled, we as queer people must remember where we’ve been and what it means to be queer. The Culture issue hopes to honor just a fragment of that identity.
This issue is a glimpse into who we are and how we express ourselves. The lived experiences of our 50+ staff members are small strokes on the canvas of our community, but without them, the painting would be incomplete. We are some of many voices ensuring our culture stays known, and we hope you listen.
Christopher Ikonomou (Xe/He)