Image: Eric Walter, "Demonstration in support of the bill of same-sex marriage, Paris," 2012 Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license
This month we celebrate LGBT writing from around the world with the fourth installment of our annual Queer Issue. In two timely essays, Dmitry Kuzmin exposes the roots of recent anti–gay propaganda laws in Russia and Quentin Girard observes the protests against gay marriage in France. We also feature an excerpt from Tatiana Niculescu Bran's The Confession, the basis for the award-winning Romanian film Beyond the Hills. India's Vaishali Raode takes us into the world of Mumbai's hijra community, and Taiwanese poet Jing Xianghai looks through photos from an old relationship. And we present fiction from Jordan's Fadi Zaghmout, Cuba's Anna Lidia Vega Serova, Slovenia's Suzana Tratnik, and Austria's Josef Winkler. In a special section of Sri Lankan writing, Ru Freeman, the author of A Disobedient Girl, introduces us to the work of Simon Navagaththegama, Ariyawansa Ranaweera, and Kalaivaathy Kaleel.
An Introduction to Our Fourth Annual Queer Issue
The queer world is shaking.
The Opposing Shore
Blind to one another, two empires face off across a vast expanse
On the Moscow Metro and Being Gay
As long as the image of the enemy is being concocted out of gays, I must make all my public statements exclusively as a gay man.
from “The Confession”
As they wearied, the whips would fall from their hands.
To a Young Man Who Arrived at the Party Dressed in a Lady’s Fur
like some awesome Saturday night exotic dancer at the apocalypse
What do we do? Do we kidnap children?
from “The Amman Bride”
That way we could both have our own family, but carry on seeing each other in secret.
Very Cheesy and Also Rather Blah
behind us a lake brimmed with the noise of crows
Letters without Envelopes
Her Swiss friend had assured her that she was no longer the only lesbian in Yugoslavia.
We bit one another mercilessly.
from “The Graveyard of Bitter Oranges”
I implored him softly, Kill me! Kill me!
Reviewed by Stefanie Sobelle
Reviewed by Emma Garman