Queerness is often about survival. While Torres is alluding to a space free from discrimination and violence, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, queer survival is being threatened even more. As much as we want to create a “safe space,” there is no true safe space as long as people are dying and becoming disabled from COVID-19. COVID-19 is being swept under the rug by our government despite clear evidence that repeat infections can leave lasting damage in almost every organ in the body.7 Currently, there is also a resurgence of anti-LGBTQIA+, anti-Black, anti-immigrant, and anti-free speech rhetoric and legislation. When queer people are denied the chance to exist, we must find a way to live. By critically examining our past, we can shed light on the present.
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.
In Fall 2022, guest lecturer, Kadji Amin (he/him) of Emory University, presented his article “Taxonomically Queer?: Sexology and New Queer, Trans, and Asexual Identities.” I was nervous entering a room packed with mostly graduate students and professors, but when Professor Amin walked on the stage, my nerves melted away. I was gripped by his every word. Not only was his lecture the best one I’ve heard so far, but he was the first Asian trans professor I’d ever seen. As an Asian trans man myself, it was life-changing to see someone like me dedicating his life to studying people like us.
SHILPA (she/her) is an independent musician from Los Angeles, California. She writes funk, neo-soul, and indie tunes, often touching on complex emotions and themes of growth and solitude. She recently released her debut single, a touching homage to her grandmother — this song features poetic, lyrical writing, and is the first project of many more to come.