The Fight Over Flags

When I was in high school, my friend and I fundraised and worked with our district to paint progress pride flags at each campus in the school district. While some called our project indoctrination, others claimed it was unnecessary because they believed this was an empty display of virtue signaling. However, as our right to queer expression continues to suffer heavy restrictions around the country, it is crucially empowering to permanently show that we are not leaving. Students may not feel safe at home, and affirming their identities decreases depression, anxiety, and suicide rates by allowing them to be themselves in school. The symbols used to identify people’s orientations and politics inform others of whom to trust.

Asia’s Steps Toward Queerness in 2023

Towards the end of October 2023, Japan’s Supreme Court ruled that their long-held legislation requiring transgender citizens to undergo medical sterilization and have “no functional reproductive glands” to legally change their gender is in fact unconstitutional. Even with this change, they must be unmarried and have genitals that present as the “gender” they are trying to identify as. Though there remain some obstacles, this court decision will allow for a life without legal violations of physical autonomy. In the spirit of this queer legislative win for Japanese people, we’d like to highlight how queer folks in other regions of Asia have also witnessed victories and an expansion of dedicated space within the past year.

“Maybe We Got Lost in Translation?”: The Fraught Relationship Between the Church, Sexuality, and the Bible

I remember the Catholic guilt gnawing at my insides when I thought about her, when I felt butterflies flutter in my heart as I glanced at her. I remember teachers in religion classes making it clear where the Church stood on someone like me. I remember hearing about the Bible verses — the dreaded Leviticus 18:22 — and reading about sodomy in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I remember looking up to the sky, thinking, “If this is true, why would you make me this way?”

What “Red, White & Royal Blue” Gets Right About Being Queer in Politics — And What It Doesn’t

“I am the First Son of the United States, and I’m bisexual. History will remember us.”

Casey McQuiston’s debut romance novel “Red, White & Royal Blue” has recently been adapted into an Amazon Prime movie, bringing the love story between the American First Son and the Prince of England to the big screen. The film is a winding tale of controversy and copulation, but ends happily with Alex Claremont-Diaz (played by Taylor Zakhar Perez) and Henry Windsor (played by Nicholas Galitzine) stepping into Alex’s childhood home to start the next chapter of their lives together.

Why I Hesitate to Introduce Myself With Pronouns

I know who I am. I know what inspires me, what ticks me off, and what I love. I know why I believe the things I do, who I want to be, and how I navigate the world. My ears are pierced (twice), I wear cool shoes, and I have never felt more myself than I do now.

Queer Summer 2023 Favorites

Our OutWrite staff loves queer media! Here are some of our favorites from this summer:

Heartstopper Season 2: Grieving Something I Didn’t Know I Lost

When Season 1 of “Heartstopper” came out in April 2022, I was a senior in high school. I was coming out of yet another situationship with a straight guy. My story was classic: grow close to him, develop feelings, question whether or not he’s straight, confess. 

FIFA Banned Rainbow Armbands at the World Cup: Here’s How Players Showed Pride Instead

In late June, eight armband designs were revealed that 2023 FIFA World Cup players could choose to wear on the pitch, including “Unite For Indigenous Peoples,” in partnership with United Nations Human Rights, and “Unite For Ending Violence Against Women,” in partnership with UN Women. However, despite the tournament’s theme of “Football Unites the World,” FIFA banned the “OneLove” armband or any armbands including Pride Flag imagery. This is ostensibly without reason; unlike Qatar which hosted the 2022 World Cup, the 2023 host countries Australia and New Zealand don’t criminalize LGBTQ+ people. Players receive a yellow card — a warning that could bar future participation — for wearing rainbow armbands, as was the case at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Pigeonholed: Buddy, Robots Can be Gay, Too

I write this on the eve of the launch of “Lightfall,” “Destiny 2”’s (“D2”’s) newest story expansion, although hopefully by the time this article is published I’ll have spent some hours exploring the cyberpunk city environment of Neomuna. I am the most excited I’ve been for any piece of media in years.

Scissor Me, Daddy Ass: Queerness, Homophobia and the Acclaimed

The queer messaging of the Acclaimed — the two tag team champions for the professional wrestling company All Elite Wrestling (AEW) — veers in enough different directions that it’s hard to pick out a unified message. The fictional world of wrestling, whose staged theatrics and over-the-top characters often shade towards campiness, complicates the real-world impact of that message even further.