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On a black background, various bright colourful and neon curved lines sprawl across the image with sparkling stars along the parameter. Along the lines are three tilted images growing in size of the book cover for This is Beyond. The book cover for This Is Beyond features a rainbow-coloured shape of a butterfly with wavy designs, dots, two disco balls, four rainbow-hued eyes, two hands with painted nails, and two red high heels inside the shape with pink sparkles on either side. The title of the book and editors are in white, pink and green text.

A Pride Time Capsule

By Brandon Crone Date: June 26, 2024 Tags: Author Interviews, Features

In honour of Pride Month, we are thrilled to celebrate the joy, beauty, and positive values exemplified by diverse 2SLGBTQ+ communities everywhere. For this special blog, we reached out to the amazing contributors of our new anthology, This is Beyond: A Time Capsule of Queer Experience. We asked them to share their reflections during this festive season to build our own time capsule of the present moment. Our prompt was simple: What makes you proud to be part of the queer community?  Here is how they responded:

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Being part of a community that is transformative, radical, and not afraid to dream of the best possibilities of who we are and who we could be—that's what makes me the most proud and in integrity with myself.
-Makram Ayache

 

Before I came out to myself, I’d resigned to marrying a cardboard-cutout man: amalgam of Barbie-Nutcracker-Ken and a boy I’d decided to crush on (who’d once demanded my schoolyard kiss). Years since, I’ve rejected this—as uncreative and bafflingly sad! The queer people I admire are persistent, and defiant in finding joy. They’re deadly romantic, irreverently kind. I’m proud of every queer kid who tells me they’ve found themself for the first time, and of the drag queen who’s ten billion times hotter than I’ll ever be. I’m proud of linked-hands on music festival benches, and of my love—painting her eyelids and lips the colours of her flag. My queer community invites me to love well, and be unashamed of pleasure. I’m proud of that. I’m proud that we’ll never stop finding ourselves and each other.
-Lynnéa Chan

 

diving into transverses and queer ways of knowing:
     -love is expansive
          -genderfuckery is joy &
           is possible for you &
           every other past/present/future soul on the planet
               -transformation is life
                    -language is transformation
                         -permissions given:
                              don’t get too scared (& it’s-okay-to-be-scared)
                              don’t get too scared (& it’s-okay-to-be-scared)
                              it’s already changing as you read this
                                   the language
                                   you use for you & me
     you & me
     we’ve changed too
-Christina Cook

 

What I am proud of—when I see or live it—is how queers show up for each other and resist the fragmentation of time and narrative perpetuated by social media, and the culture of narcissism that this produces. Everything exists as part of a larger context and story. I am because you are.

Fragmentation and non-narratives are the norms of the zeitgeist. As queers, we must challenge norms, which these days means: reclaiming, remembering, and listening, even when it's difficult.

When queers do this—especially with each other, which is so important, given how atomized the community is these days—I feel very proud. I'd be even prouder if we did this more.
-C.E. Gatchalian

 

I am a proud ally because I want to be an authentic part of a vibrant, loving community that celebrates the strength and beauty of diversity.
-TJ Jablonski

 

feeling in connection with people i admire—
people who live from truth instead of fear,
people who change the cartography of possible so
the map runs past the borderlines of infinity.
-Breton Lalama

 

Here’s the thing: you can’t be Queer without examining your life.

We’ve all been raised in a world steeped in that tired, ancient, pernicious lie: that cis, hetero, vanilla, and monogamous are the Factory Default Settings for humanity. How many people build their life around that lie? How many squeeze and contort and shrink everything that they are to fit inside that tiny off-the-rack number they will spend their life trying to pass off as made-to-measure couture? Being Queer means taking a good, long look in the mirror and saying: this dress doesn’t fit me—and it’s not even cute!

Does every Queer person have it all figured out? Fuck, no! But every Queer person has had the courage and the curiosity to say at some point: I have figured out that this isn’t for meand I’m brave enough to go out there and figure out what is!
-Johnnie McNamara Walker

 

I am proud to be a part of the queer community for its histories—multiple, imperfect, sometimes only partly available, other times entirely erased, which makes room for speculation. I turn to these histories to find models for how to face adversity with fortitude and grace, to be reminded of the work that still needs to be done, and to be inspired for celebration.
-Adam Meisner

 

I'm proud to be among an expansive history and community of people who think and manifest at least some part of our lives "outside the box"...also proud as a gender non-conforming person to have the range of perspective from living more than one gender experience.
-seeley quest

 

The instant community you feel with other queer people because of our innate understanding of not only the struggles and challenges we’ve all been through to be who we are and live openly, but also the triumphs and joys that accompany that struggle.
-Evan Tsitsias

 

Queer as in ACAB, queer as in Free Palestine, queer as in Black Lives Matter, queer as in no feminism without trans women, queer as in Crip everything—that queer community? I’m proud to be part of this fierce, gentle, loving, radical, restful, challenging, engaged, aware, and not-to-be-fucked-with community because “the people united can never be defeated." Because if I need to be understood and held—these are my people. I’m finally proud of myself—and this community helped me get here.
-Hanlon Uafás-Álainn

 

If you must know:

I was not always proud.
Incredibly skilled at repressing all sense of desire
of longing
well versed in disassociating from my body
floating above
watching things happen to me
as someone else.

I am not always proud.
Institutions pinkwash pride and sell it back to us
while ignoring problems our communities face:
anti-trans legislation across the country and world,
lack of equal access to health care,
fear for our safety,
attacks on human rights.

Queer and trans friendships make me proud
have transformed me
starting testosterone changed my life.

I am proud to rebuild my body.
To move away from shame
and forge a home through community, friendships, family, love.

We cannot talk about pride without saying:
Free Palestine.
Free Sudan.
Free Congo.
Land back.
Denounce Genocide.

May we strive for queerness set on action and change.

The journey to the surface
is not always up
but like veins
we connect back to the heart
no matter the route
and rivers always connect to the ocean.
-Eish Van Wieren

 

I love the queer community and one of the things that makes me most proud is to belong to such a welcoming group. I feel held in the company of so many others who are like me: seekers and travellers, lovers, workers, parents, and friends; all of us a little broken, all of us a little tender, all of us looking for home.
-Sarah Waisvisz

 

From my experience, I’m proud to be queer, because it has allowed me to be creative when it comes to how I present myself, build relationships, pursue careers, and explore my beliefs. Not solely defined by who you sleep with, Queerness is a lifestyle, a culture, and an outlook on the world.
-Matthew Winter

 

I am forever grateful to be in a community with people who taught me what is, love. The culture of "chosen family" that runs through our community has shown me that love exists not in the blood but in the compassion we show each other. Love is a verb. It is an action, state, or occurrence. It is not some empty word. It is a grounded, tangible, observable sensation. So I've learned to look for signs of love rather than take it for granted.
-Johnny Wu

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We wish everyone a fun and safe Pride celebration! You can read these authors’ works and many more in the must-have collection of monologues, essays, and opinion pieces, This is Beyond: A Time Capsule of Queer Experience.

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