Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color is an intentional community space. Our mission is to nurture, celebrate, and preserve diversity within the queer poetry community. Through this journal, we are attempting to center the lives and experiences of QPOC in contemporary America.”

Read the inaugural issue of Nepantla, curated by Christopher Soto in collaboration with The Lambda Literary Foundation.

"Places are shaped by the people who inhabit them, and some are the hearts that pump the blood through a city’s veins. Without them things would be gray and lifeless."

-Pati Hertling in a review of Edgewise: A Picture of Cookie Mueller, BOMB Magazine #129

"I’ve Got a Time Bomb is a trans punk road novel that is not for the faint of heart. It is not for the politically or grammatically correct. It is not a respectable trans book and that is a good thing. Too many books written by and about trans people seek to normalize trans lives, and are careful not to offend people within and outside of the community. Be forewarned, Lamb writes without inhibition, no matter how ugly or violent her truth is."

Read more at Lambda Literary.

theferocity:

I’m going to need to start dreaming bigger dreams.

Second to None: Queer and Trans Chicago Voices is now available online through 3rd Language’s zine distro.

Second to None is a collection of nonfiction writing including essays, interviews, and speeches that archive the lives of queer and trans artists, writers, and activists living in Chicago. The first issue features: Andre Perez, Alexis Martinez, NIC Kay, Amina Ross, Jackie Boyd, Jen Richards, Kiam Marcelo Junio, H. Melt, Joseph Varisco, Jakob VanLammeren, and art by Cristian Gorostieta.

Preview of my work in:

Mass & Matter
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
37 S. Wabash, 7th floor, Chicago, IL. 
August 25-November 1, 2014

Mixed-media works by Hannah Keene, H. Melt, Brit Parks, Alix Shaw, Danielle Susi, Nicholas Szczepanik, and Krissy Wilson. 

These works address the visuality—and often, physicality—of language as an artifact. Presented at eye-level, they provoke examination and revaluation of texts both authoritative and discarded.  

This show inaugurates Page Gallery, the SAIC Writing Department exhibition space. Co-curated by Denise Bennett and Krissy Wilson.

Preview of my work in:

Mass & Matter
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
37 S. Wabash, 7th floor, Chicago, IL.
August 25-November 1, 2014

Mixed-media works by Hannah Keene, H. Melt, Brit Parks, Alix Shaw, Danielle Susi, Nicholas Szczepanik, and Krissy Wilson.

These works address the visuality—and often, physicality—of language as an artifact. Presented at eye-level, they provoke examination and revaluation of texts both authoritative and discarded.

This show inaugurates Page Gallery, the SAIC Writing Department exhibition space. Co-curated by Denise Bennett and Krissy Wilson.

brentknepper:

It’s been an incredibly difficult five days with what’s happened in what I look at as my back yard. Last night watching the live feeds of what was happening in Ferguson, MO was absolutely unbelievable and I spent the entire night refreshing twitter feeling total shame and despair.

Today though, across the country there were little glimpses of light at this very dark tunnel. Being consumed by this level of anger feels exhausting, and take that with an incredibly huge grain of salt because that’s just what I with the privilege of being a white male am capable of feeling. I’m not capable of comprehending the real pain. At today’s NMOS14 demonstration in Chicago, an incredible number of people gathered on short notice. The assembly was peaceful. We listened to people express their hurt, their hope, their anger, and their drive to change things. Once my camera died (again, short notice on this rally), I biked straight to my computer to share the solidarity- if only here in Chicago.

I know this isn’t really the stuff I normally post on here, but I figure the one time I’m literally crying while taking pictures is probably a good time to post stuff. My gratitude goes to everyone organizing today, and not just here but everywhere.

this portrait of malcolm is especially powerful. it makes my heart heavy.

(via mint-julep-testosterone)

THE LOSS OF QUEER SPACE: PARLOUR ON CLARK

“Nikki and I took a run down tavern in an area of the city that we loved and turned it into a space that would provide a home for artists, musicians, comedians, drag queens, and many amazing dance parties.” - Jennifer Murphy, co-owner of Parlour on Clark

The first time I went to Parlour on Clark was after my first Dyke March in 2012. It was one of the first queer parties I ever attended. I arrived early for an ice cream social and soon after, the bar filled wall to wall with queer people. I could barely move. I hardly knew anyone there but it didn’t matter. My body surrendered to the motions of the swaying crowd. Sometime around midnight, the cops showed up. To a gay bar full of people commemorating Stonewall. The bar was overcrowded and the police encouraged people to go home. As if we weren’t already there.

After four years in business, Parlour on Clark is closed. Owners Nikki Calhoun and Jennifer Murphy wanted to sell the bar. However, they couldn’t transfer their liquor license due to a moratorium the city refused to lift. In an email sent to Parlour’s customers, Murphy commented, “We hoped it was going to be around for awhile…What we learned was that people were less focused on supporting a local business and more interested in finding the newest bar, event, club, restaurant or party.”

Parlour was an important space in Chicago’s queer landscape. It provided a much-needed alternative to the plethora of gay bars that cater exclusively to men. Parlour was more inviting than its longstanding neighbors Jackhammer and Touché, creating a welcoming atmosphere for lesbians, queer artists, and trans people. It was a hip neighborhood bar located near the border of Rogers Park and Edgewater, two neighborhoods with significant queer and trans populations. It was the type of place you’d take a friend from out of town, a place where you met your wife, a place where you went to dance, catch a performance, or to relax on the round white leather couch in back.

The loss of queer space is nothing new. We’re a community familiar with loss, perhaps even defined by it. I’ve noticed several queer spaces in Chicago that have disappeared after an average lifespan of 2-3 years. Many queer events, especially dance parties, occur on a monthly basis in otherwise straight spaces. What does it mean that so many queer events take place in straight spaces? If our spaces are temporary, does that mean we are temporary too?

The closing of Parlour on Clark proves that loving a community is not enough. Love needs to be sustainable. The queer community needs to do a better job supporting spaces and people when they are struggling. We need to create a culture where we can ask for help and receive it. Otherwise, we will continue to lose our spaces, our friends, and ourselves. We will continue to be defined by loss.

This essay was originally published by Windy City Times.