How do we arrange our social, romantic, political, and sexual lives? What types of relationships and spaces facilitate the sharing and affirmation of Queer existence and experiences? Where do we find and how do we create our own families or networks of choice as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, polyamorous, non-binary, same-gender-loving, asexual, pansexual, kink, gender fluid, agender, or otherwise Queer people and groups? What are the multiple forms and appearances of Queer kinship in our world today? How do such arrangements reveal and potentially ease life within cisnormative, mononormative, and heteronormative contexts? How do variations in race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, body size and type, nationality, and other social factors influence such relationships and the forms they take in our lives? What does the term Queer Kinship mean to you, and how might it speak to the broader social world and ongoing pursuits for social justice?
These are some of the questions we hope to consider, discuss, and debate in a new series of essays amplifying “Voices of Queer Kinship.” In this series, we seek narratives exploring and illustrating various forms of Queer love, family, relationships, and the meanings of these experiences for the individual writers and more broadly. To this end, our own little Write Where It Hurts family will be posting essays on our experiences building, cultivating, and experiencing Queer Kinship. While we envision this series playing out over the next few months, there is no deadline for submission as we believe such stories have a place on the blog at all times. As such, we invite all interested parties to submit posts – essays, narratives, poetry, stories, or other forms are all welcome – exploring the meaning and experience of Queer Kinship in their lives.
In our case, the idea for this series emerged as our own founder and editor Xan and previous contributor Simone Kolysh discussed the importance of safe spaces, families of choice, and sources of affirmation in their own lives. In a month where Pride events are taking place across the country even as our communities continue to face violent and political attacks from multiple sources, they talked about the importance of our stories, our voices, and the varied ways Queer people organize intimate, social, and political lives. In a year where many have benefitted greatly from the legalization of same-sex marriage last June while others who do not wish to marry have seen their options for relational and familial recognition begin to disappear, they talked about the importance of illustrating and discussing the diversity and variation within and between Queer relationships, families, and networks. Ultimately, they decided – with the affirmation of the rest of the Write Where It Hurts family – that we should use this platform to amplify such complexities and create room for these voices.
In this spirit, we seek stories and voices of Queer Kinship in all its forms and types for inclusion in the series. Specifically, we welcome posts discussing topics including but not limited to, for example:
Lesbian and gay marital and other relationship experiences prior to and post same sex marriage legalization
Bisexual and otherwise sexually fluid relationships prior to and post same sex marriage legalization
Lesbian, Bisexual, and Gay experiences of committed relationships beyond or instead of marital and family based forms prior to and post same sex marriage legalization
Transgender and Non-binary relationship experiences with people of various sexualities
Intersex relationship and family experiences with people of various sexualities
LGBTI experiences with families of origin, chosen families, reproduction, raising children, navigating child-related legal codes and policies, and navigating interactions with other parents
Polyamrous relationships of varied types and forms in relation to romantic experience, sexual experience, familial experience, or other day to day activities
BDSM and other Kink based relationships of varied types and forms as well as relational and familial experiences navigating casual or other forms of BDSM or other Kink play
Heteroqueer people in long term relationships with and openly supportive of LGBTI people, navigating polyamory, or engaged in other non-traditional sexual, gender, and / or romantic experiences
Mixed orientation relationships prior to and post same-sex legalization
Asexual relational and familial experiences with others of varied sexual and romantic identities
Experiences of affirmation and / or marginalization in explicitly LGBT, BDSM, Poly, and other Queer spaces and groups
Transgender experiences with long term partners in relation to transition, healthcare and bathroom access, and family formation
Non-binary experiences with long term partners in relation to family, friends, workplaces, dress norms, and other aspects of daily life
Experiences navigating the assumptions and reactions of others while engaged in Queer Kinship and / or as sexual, gender, romantic, relationship, or otherwise Queer
Experiences of childfree people navigating assumptions of parenthood and reproduction in Queer and other spaces and groups
Although the list above provides a starting point of some of the topics of interest in this series, we also welcome essays or other types of posts on Queer Kinship itself and relations with broader society as Queer people, couples, trios, unions, families, and groups. We further welcome examples of the ways Queer Kinship – personally experienced or observed – has touched your research, teaching, activism, or creative endeavors. Further, as usual, we will accept both named and anonymous submissions for this series. The next two weeks will feature regular posts on the site, and then, beginning on July 20th, we will begin posting pieces in the series – starting with submissions we already have from our earlier Facebook announcement – and continue doing so in between posts on other topics for the foreseeable future. As usual, please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have or ideas for this or other series on the blog. To contribute, simply gather your thoughts and contact or send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Xan, J, & Lain