0. Winter - Spring
🔥 the origin of this publication 🔥
A coming-out prologue, encouraging the significance of publicly declaring one’s queerness. The story follows a boy as he is coming in terms with his own shame, by proclaiming to the world his name and true identity. It is the start of a long journey; one founded in self-love and a desire for personal freedom.
The LGBTQ+ community carries a long history of murders and persecutions, that manifests as constant mourning for those who were either penalized, or killed due to homophobia and heterosexism. For example, the devastating events taking place on June 12 at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, United States were noted down as the worst mass shooting in U.S history. The attack was aimed directly at queers and queers of colour, with one armed man killing 49 people and leaving many more wounded. Like the events of Stonewall, the Orlando massacre was a wake-up call; reminding the gay community that, under the stringent governance of heterosexuality, simply being in the world still equals a threat. Because of this, queerness is often synonymous to shame. It was by working on and exploring my own personal shame that allowed me to understand that its presence is not always justified. That in fact, if one recognizes shame as merely a history of unjust oppression, one will naturally seek to edit and write a new history. During the last winters, the queer community has faced numerous tragedies, with the rise of a political agenda that seeks to reinforce our oppression. Spring insists upon a non-heteronormative rendering of reality, in a glorious attempt to encourage the queer community to come out of the stigma and manipulated history that haunts us; and to come out smelling of roses.
By the end of Spring, the boy finds himself in a ‘utopian universe of dancing bodies’, which signifies the potential for a new order that celebrates, rather than punish queerness. Through the ‘dance scene’, I am paying tribute to the Orlando events; the narrative moves to the present tense, suggesting that there is space for queerness to grow, without being hunted down by heteropatriarchal restrictions. This ephemeral experience of dancing uninterruptedly, becomes fixed in time through a kiss between two men. Omar Mateen, the man who brutally opened fire, killing and injuring gay men and women at Pulse, Orlando, was said to have been upset earlier that day, after seeing two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid. Like the ‘two men kissing’ movement that followed the attack, with thousands of people worldwide posting photos of two men kissing, I wanted the zine to also exist as a form of resistance. The kiss becomes a piece of evidence, solidifying that memory, as the ‘boy hero’ insists that this is no longer a dream; it is rather a proof that queerness is not only a subject matter of fictional past stories, but a potential reality of what could be and, indeed, what should be.
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