Picture this: it’s June 28, 1970, nearly a year after the monumental Stonewall riots, and you’re attending the first Pride Parade in New York City. Except it’s not a parade, and it’s not entirely about Pride: it’s the Christopher Street Liberation Day March. Here, we recognize the familiar names of Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, and the lesser known names of the march’s organizers Craig Rodwell, Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy, Linda Rhodes, Brenda Howard and many more. Unlike today’s Pride Parade, this march in New York was dedicated to Gay Liberation in the forms of political speeches, demonstrations, and gay visibility.
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.
I was eight when my shape started to shift from straight lines to soft curves, and discomfort began festering inside of me. My discomfort mutated into disgust with each second I spent in an increasingly foreign body. I was eight when a man leaned out of his truck to whistle at me for the first time, and I learned my body exists for the world to look at, and they will look at it and think what they’ll think of it regardless of how I feel about it. I was eight when my body became my enemy.
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.
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…
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.
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.
Illustrated by Mieko Tsurumoto/OutWrite This piece was originally published in our Winter 2023 print issue “Culture.” Your Love Lives On Willi Ninja Chavela Vargas Stormé DeLaverie Ernestine Eckstein Jackie Shane Ifti Nasim Amelio Robles Avila Lorraine Hansberry Gladys Bentley Marsha…