Letter From the Editor: June

I remember having a conversation with a newish friend last year during which I mentioned having a little crush on a mutual, non-binary kasama and their immediate, triumphant response was: "I knew you were queer!" And in my head I was like....Yeah totally! But also, ammmmm Iiiii "queer"?? Honestly, I guess I had never really identified as anything before, having always been attracted to vibe and energy and not necessarily someone's gender expression. Growing up near San Francisco and spending hella time working, partying, and disrupting in the Castro district, I was always sort of adjacent to the LGBTQIA+ scene and had dated within it; but I also didn't feel super comfortable claiming a reclaimed slur that had never been directed at me. Because I'm generally femme-presenting, comfortable with my sexuality, and also pretty private about my personal life, I think I've had the privilege of not having to deal with the violence directed at many members of the queer community. I've witnessed close friends in the community as they've battled internally about their own gender identity, been disowned by their families, been beaten up and abused, gotten by through survival sex work. I've been there for loved ones going through it, but absolutely would never ever claim to know what it's like to experience these types of violence. However, I do think that the term "queer" has become more of an umbrella term for anyone non-cis hetero, so ok word.

While language can be liberating and give form to feelings or ideas, it also can feel hella limiting. More importantly than language tho, how are we showing up for LGBTQIA+ members of our community? Regardless of how things might appear to be changing, especially with the younger generation embracing gender fluidity, queerness, and activism more openly - the LGBTQIA+ community is still very marginalized and faces very real danger. Pride, while absolutely a celebration of culture and liberation, has its roots in resistance and riots. As much "progress" as there has been since its inception, we're still FAR from living in a society that treats all peoples, regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression, or skin color, as equals.

This month, we're celebrating LGBTQIA+ resilience in many forms, including the first of our super exciting "Undocumented & Filipinx" series in which an undocuqueer Filipina shares her experience coming out of the closet twice – as both queer and undocumented. I'm also excited to announce that we're officially starting a content partnership this month with The GirlMob, a digital sisterhood for women of color, as well as many more surprises popping up this summer.

We (been) here, we're queer, get used to it.

<3 Steph

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