Image: Gabriel Garcia Roman, “Carlos and Fernando,” Photogravure with chine-collé and silkscreen, 18in x 15in., 2016. Text by Carlos and Fernando Estrada-Lopez.
Welcome to our eighth annual queer issue. From raucous Mexican dives to hushed West African forests, with characters defying official crackdowns in Turkey and embracing new definitions of family in Israel, the work here explores the variety of queer experience around the world. Trifonia Melibea Obono peeks at a secret society in a remote village. Polish journalist Karolina Domagalska visits a self-made family in gay-friendly Tel Aviv, while from Istanbul Beldan Sezen delivers a graphic report on police brutality and defiant pride protesters. Biljana Jovanovic depicts a childhood in a violent dysfunctional family, and Milena Solot channels a transgender dancer's instinct for self-preservation. In restaurants in Rio and Belgrade, Caio Fernando Abreu's morose theater critic struggles to reconcile romantic ideals with harsh physical reality, and David Albahari's novelist comes face to face with a shocking surprise from his past. Uruguayan poet Raquel Lubartowski despairs of the power of words. And B.J. Epstein of the University of East Anglia addresses the double invisibility of the queer translator. Elsewhere this month, we take a detour from our usual contemporary focus with a selection of Kashmiri poetry of four centuries.
And What If Love Is Stronger? The Queer Issue
In this troubling context, the need for portrayals of queer lives around the world becomes even more urgent.
The Indecency Club
"The Fang forest is a free space. Now you are free."
He was a candy you wanted to pop in your mouth and suck real slow.
Rainbow Families: Four Parents and Two Children
"Go and find a father for your child."
There are feminist or postcolonial translation strategies so why not queer ones, too?
Where Are You, My Love?
They think they can intimidate us!
It's this: we’re seeking water / Where there is only thirst.
"Damned parents,” he said in a soft voice, “look what they’ve made of me.”
Shit about Love
You cover it up, disguise it, use Vaseline, soap . . .
Lida, Danilo, and the Others
Because of all that, I only rode buses that were almost empty.
Reviewed by J. A. Tyler
Reviewed by John W. W. Zeiser