It is a beautiful thing, wanting nothing at all from someone you love because you live with mutual understanding beyond the primal need for physical touch, found in fleeting evenings doomed to end with someone closing the door without looking back. It is a beautiful thing, telling them that you love them over the phone while you’re crying your eyes out because you don’t know what to do now; then you’re laughing until there’s a moment you allow yourself to forget. I remember life before my queer friends, how it felt begging for someone I could see myself in just enough to spark a casual conversation built on genuine interest instead of twisting those unwilling into sharing hyperfixations created for those of us who know what it’s like to have to fight for the ones you love.
Coming out is hard in so many ways. I came out to myself when I was 18 years old — well, I didn’t “come out,” rather I abruptly clarified it to myself that I like women. Big deal. I hate categorizations and boxes and lists, yet it also relaxes me to put things and ideas into categories, boxes, and lists. The LGBTQ+ spectrum is mindblowingly expansive and, as I’m sure you already know, it is so beautiful.
For many of us, sex is a process of trial and error. Sex, like gender, is subjective, something that requires nuance and space to be explored. Also like gender, sex is confusing, a process of trial and error that many assume is automatic. More often than not, sex as a form of intimacy and euphoria is policed by cisgender, heterosexual social norms which in turn leaves a lot of pressure on us to have sex that isn’t necessarily fun or comfortable. But how do we know what we like when it comes to sex, especially in an era where it feels like we must constantly conform to others’ notions of sex?
Illustrated by Charis/OutWrite This letter was originally published in our Spring 2023 print issue “Color.” Dear Reader, I stand at the end of an era. To be entirely dramatic, I have put my heart and soul into this magazine for…
Leslie Feinberg’s historical novel “Stone Butch Blues” voices the experiences of many butch and transmasculine individuals. In a transformative exploration of queer recognition and the way it damns and redeems us, the novel unearths critical queer history and underlines the importance of intersectional solidarity. Courage, loneliness, and understanding echo through the story of the butch protagonist, Jess Goldberg.
Illustrated by Steph Liu/OutWrite This illustration was originally published in our Winter 2023 print issue “Culture.” From left to right: Angie Xtravaganza, Erskine Christian, Paris Dupree, Crystal LaBeija, Dorian Corey Thanks to “A History of Ballroom: Documenting the Era of…
It started with a Facebook message between two bubbly freshmen-to-be: two California-born Indian girls bonding over Bollywood and books. One message led to another, and we decided to submit a roommate request form to live together in the dorms. It was our first time living away from the home-cooked food of our Indian families. Our shared heritage was what gave us a pocket of familiarity within unfamiliarity.
Collage by Charis/OutWrite This collage was originally published in our Winter 2023 print issue “Culture.”
In the era before the internet, queer communities were localized, each one unique to its geographic area. When the AIDS pandemic spread throughout the world, killing an estimated 1 in 15 gay men in America by 1995, it not only came with a horrific loss of life, but also decimated communities and networks of queer people across the country.