Queer Love Zine

Page 1

“Mine” by Maryam Kausar

To Stonewall By Leelu Ravi i can walk out onto the street i can see a pretty girl i can see a pretty boy i can wear a pink, purple and blue pin i talk to my friends about who we’d kiss and who we’d have kiss us. usually, the girls are the ones we’d like to kiss, and the boys we’d like to kiss us, but not always i can see a pretty person with a cool haircut. they see my pin, we share a smile because neither of us were fit for a binary anyway and yes, i’d like to kiss them too. thank you for this. thank you for this. you lived for this you died for this so my parents could say “yes, bi is okay” so that the bright seven-split flag could fly tag-teaming with this searing blue sky so that i can hold so that i can kiss (cont. back)

stubbly jaws and lipsticked lips here in the daylight here in the daylight i can kiss anyone i can hold hands with anyone of course it is not perfect but i can hold hands with anyone here in the sunlight searing blue sky bi-colors-pin loud conversations “yes, this girl wore the prettiest perfume” loud conversations in the college lounge in the bright night in the sunlight so thank you thank you thank you thank you i didn’t know that the oldest gay bars do not have windows so thank you for this softness, this privilege, this glaring light that i exude when i order a bi flag for my room off of Amazon, thank you, thank you you gave it to me and your blood stains the streets and it isn’t over and there are still beasts alive but thank you thank you thank you thank you because here is what you gave me so bright i can love anyone loudly in daylight

Photo by Vincent Luu

Underground Wires by Kyra Gregory I love to look at you I knew you would love it It’s hilarious It’s late now anyways Not the same What’s your schedule? I’ll be with you soon Brb meeting I’m cracking up Aww I wanna stay forever Are you still at work Ok can we sleep Call??? I miss you so badly You make me feel so safe Is it too complicated to text? I have class at 1:30 Call in like 20? 30? I just want to be with you right now I knew you would love it I’ll be with you soon At least it’s warm and windy out You’re sleeping early? :( There you are LESBIAN SPIDERS??!’ I’m at work You can tell me about class 1pm Ooh this one’s sexy It’s late now anyways Call? Oh God I wish I was with you Look at the most recent song But first look at what I sent you on Instagrammm Not the same I miss you so badly

Are you sleeping too? You make me feel so safe I knew you would love it There you are Quit and come to my bed At least it’s warm and windy out

Art by Kyra Gregory

My name Is Jorge Ivan Velez, my best friend is named Donald Grim. Our friendship is about to enter its fifth year, and there’s nothing strange about that except for the fact that we dated for almost three of those years. Donnie and I interviewed each other to talk about how we’ve maintained our friendship, the biggest lessons we’ve learned from one another and of course, a few words for the big guy himself, Weezer. _________ Ivy: Let’s start out with name, gender, sexuality, and our sun, moon, rising and venus signs. Donnie: My name is Donald Grim, my pronouns are either she or he. I identify as genderfluid, my sexuality is pan and I am a Cancer rising, Pisces moon, Libra sun and Virgo venus. What about you my friend? Ivy: My name is Jorge Ivan Velez, I also go by Ivy. My pronouns are fluid but I usually say they/ them. My gender is genderfluid. I used to say my sexuality is pan, but I’ve been saying bi more recently. I am a Virgo sun, Cancer moon, Libra rising and Libra venus. To our readers, we dated for almost three years, or was it two? Donnie: Let’s say … two and a chunk? Two and three quarters?

Ivy: then have such

Okay, so, we dated for a real long time, and didn’t date for a long time but you still remained my best friend. I love you! You are a big part of my life.

Donnie: I feel like it’s even cooler because we’ve stayed pals and still enjoy each other’s company, and share good talks and thoughts together. Ivy: I agree, shortly after we broke up I watched Brian Jordan Alvarez’s “Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo” and it was the first piece of media that made me think about love as a queer concept, and how we can make relationships impactful outside of just the romantic ones. Donnie: I will say, no matter the depths of things I think friendship is one of the most beautiful things because it is never someone who is bound to you, but instead someone who genuinely wants to be around you. We are literally here because we want to communicate to each other and we enjoy that. Ivy: There is so much choice that goes into friendship, like, people will stick it out for romantic relationships because there’s like, taxes involved, but people are super choosy about their friends. Donnie: In terms of our identities, what about our relationship do you think has been empowering, both before and after we dated? Ivy: Whenever I talk about you, I refer to you as someone I grew up with. You are one of the most spiritually, intellectually and emotionally ma-

ture people I have ever met. You were, and continue to be, such a role model that I learn from. As a teenager I felt like my skin was crawling all the time, and being with someone who had such cool composure and interesting ideas was like, wow, and that rubbed off on me in a big way. It helped teach me how to dialogue with another person. You were truly the first person I fell in love with, you taught me love is dialogue and work and deciding where to go to eat and sleeping uncomfortably next to one another and sacrifice and time, y’know? What about you? Donnie: I think I found you comforting because when I met you I had just come out of a bad relationship and there was a lot of dysphoria involved that I wasn’t understanding yet. You helped me because you didn’t comment on things in bad ways, so it made me feel like, “Okay, I’m me and that’s fantastic,” and you were always showing me ways to grow. You really live by example and you’re a little older than me, so even that difference helped me see forward in time for myself. We just had a lot of great discussions about identity and we had a lot of the same ideas in our heads and whenever we shared we were able to discover parts of ourselves. _________ Donnie: What are some of the biggest lessons we’ve learned from each other? Ivy: You taught me how to dress better. [laughter] Donnie: Another question I had was, “What is one

style thing you learned from me?” Ivy: You’re such a style icon! Anyone who has experienced dysphoria can learn from you because you encompass every gender all at once. You taught me style is a lot about owning it. You also made me more open-minded with food, you helped me stop being a picky eater. And I said it earlier, but the biggest lesson you taught me is how to love another person, which is just space, patience and persistence. And the importance of small gestures. You also taught me a ton about art and music, and I’d be much more narrowly minded about it without you. You are the best person I know and I thank you every day for that. _________ Ivy: Does our friendship feel different than other friendships? Donnie: It does. I think no matter what, that if I spend time with you, I know I will be laughing and happy. I have other friends who feel like that as well, but, I think it’s just you and Ayesha, there is a similar way I talk to you both where I think: this is me. Also, having respect for each other in who we are and understanding and enjoyment of those people. The bottom line is, Jorge Ivan Velez is someone who I respect and love talking to. Ivy: Thank you, the feeling is very mutual. I think a good way to lead this conversation off is the biggest lesson you taught me is Weezer is a good band. They’re one of my favorite bands today, but I don’t think I genuinely knew that un-

til I met you. Donnie: Maybe what we learned all along were the lessons we learned from Weezer. I was definitely into Weezer before I met you, but I feel like you took this one small facet of my personality and now it has become such a big facet. It’s something we really cultivated in our time together. _________ Donald Grim is an environmental studies and sustainability major at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When she’s not sweeping customers off their feet with her barista charm, she can be found on Twitter @littlebugman and Instagram @riversfomo. Jorge Ivan/Ivy Velez is an artist, musician and educator based in Queens, New York. When not doing Weezer rock hands \w/ at concerts they can be found on Twitter @funnylinkedin and Instagram @ blushbloombreath.

Art by Alanis Alvarez

Seedlings by Sunny Liu With grimy hands I tamp down the soil in the trough of overflowing strawberry plants Unfurled indolently in my garden Taking up all the room and sending out still more runners Like a lazy, self satisfied Cat, sprawled. Each colony bought on Clearance for a dollar apiece As if small and wilted was all they ever would be As if that was the sum value of how much they ought to be loved As if I would allow them to Wilt in trays upon Stacked shelves in Tiny pots and Neat little rows. As if they would not grow, regardless.

by Joseph Kolb For a long time I wanted to date someone, but it never quite worked out. Now, I’m worried I’m more attracted to the idea of a relationship or to particular pairings than to one particular person. I’m not saying I’ve never had a crush on someone, or have never been in love. I have. But do you ever stare at a couple radiating off one another and think, God I want what they have? I don’t anymore. But still, nothing pleases me quite like knowing deep in my gut that two people are in love. In the summer of 2016 I made a list of all the couples in my life I would want to be in a trouple with. I can’t tell you what sparked this urge, though it was somewhat sudden and persistent. The appeal of this fantasy was not pure imaginative crafting -- I never pulled unexpected people together, people that I liked the concept of being together with me who would never otherwise interact, or never had interacted, no -- the appeal was always with pre-existing romances. At the time though I wasn’t aware of that element yet. If anything, it was something of a joke with my friends. Can’t wait to be in a trouple. I would text the groupchat eagerly, cut with irony. Someone find me a couple to date. Eager, or desperate? It was hard to say. I had no real inkling of how of entering the world of polyamory. My own dating history was somewhat sparse. And I wasn’t even sure what about it was so appealing to me -- I didn’t think I was selfish, it wasn’t two people’s devotion to me that I wanted. Nor was it really sexual -- I hardly fantasized over the prospect of threesomes, etc. Then what was it?

The summer heat bled its way through to the end of December, but I remained single through it. The following year I became involved with a guy I had known on and off on the internet for a year. His name was Liam. Our interactions had been sparse, months going by without any communication, but something sparked that winter and by the time the spring was winding to an end our lives felt intertwined somehow, digitally. A romance blossomed but never came to fruition -- over the proceeding twelve months we would see each IRL a handful of times, flaming the fire and my own investment in ~us~. But ultimately the distance kept us apart and brought our relationship to a withering end. It was something I struggled to come to terms with, and only became more confused by. Throughout our time together Liam often spoke highly of an ex-boyfriend of eight years who remained his close, his best, friend: Michael. The two had performed together in New York and though they lived apart, they still talked every day. At the beginning, I didn’t bat an eye at any of this. In fact, it sparked a great deal of curiosity in me. It should be noted this lover has 12 years on me. Their shared history, over and continued…. Well, something about it fascinated me. I often scrolled through Facebook for any evidence of their time together: clutching microphones screaming together in dark Brooklyn spaces, obscure singles share on each other’s walls, inside jokes I couldn’t interpret. It was clear their relationship, their way of interacting with one another, was quite different than ours. I met Michael once. It was in passing while Liam was visiting New York for a week in September 2017. I think we only said hellos to one another. But this wouldn’t keep an ever-mounting image of him, and of his relationship to Liam, from casting shadows in my head. Michael and I are talking

are talking going backPang. on tour. Pang. you Couldn’t about going about back on tour. Couldn’t visit you Feeling visit me? today.with I talked with me? sadFeeling today. sad I talked Michael on Mithe chael on themoving phone,tohe’s moving to Berlin. I can’t phone, he’s Berlin. I can’t believe we’re believe we’re to live together again. never going to never live going together again. Pang. Had you Pang. Had you thought at all about us living tothought at all about us living together? gether? It’s embarrassing how clearly, plainly, obvi It’s how clearly, plainly, ously naive embarrassing I was in hindsight. Or, how naive I oblet viouslybe. naive was I intried hindsight. Or, how naive I myself How Ioften to turn a blind eye to let myself be.told How me often to turnhad a agreed blind that. Liam had that Ihetried and Michael eye to that . Liam had told me that he and Michael they could never date again (Michael had cheated on had agreed they true couldrelationship never date painted again (Michael Liam), but their a quite had cheated on Liam), but their true relationship different story. a quite painted At first, it different only fed story. the beast. Once, towards beginning At first,of itour only fedtogether, the beast. Once, the time Liam toldtowards me over the beginning of our time together, Liam told me the phone, “I’m starting to have feelings for you over Ithe “I’m starting tome have feelings like didphone, for Michael.” He sent a video from for six you like I did of forMichael Michael.” He sent a video years earlier gazing longmeinto the from camsix years earlier of Michael gazing long into over the era, melancholic-nostalgia-ridden music playing playing acamera, warped melancholic-nostalgia-ridden edit of his face. This is howmusic I felt about over a warped edit of his face. This is how I felt about Michael. Of course, I ate it all up. Their relaabout Michael. atechain, it allthe up. Their tionship was the Of topcourse, of the I food mountain the top of the fooditchain, the Irelationship was trying towas summit. The only reason I couldn’t mountain trying to was summit. The I only reasonopen it accept it,I Iwas told myself, because couldn’t I couldn’t I told myself, was because I my heart up accept enough it, to allow room for loving multiple couldn’t open my heart up enough to allow room for people, like they had, and did (apparently, allegedloving multiple people, like they had, and did (aply). parently, By theallegedly). end, though, itdrove a wedge between us. Bysummer the end, though, several it drovemonths a wedgeof between us. 2018’s featured decreased 2018’s summer featured several months decreased talking highlighted by occasional fights of about our intalking highlighted by occasional fights about our vestment in one another. investment Stop missinginmeone allanother. the time. You need to be living Stop missing me all the time. You need to be your life. living your life. In one of the final calls, Liam tried to explain to In that one of calls, Liamhe tried to explain to me onethe of final the only people managed to do long me that one of the only people he managed to do long distance with was Michael. “We’ve both dated a lot of distanceBut with Michael. a lot people. we was always come “We’ve back toboth one dated another. We of people. But we always we come back to one another. don’t talk about talking, just talk. If one of us We don’t talkfrom about we say justsomething. talk. If one of hasn’t heard thetalking, other, we I want us have hasn’t heard other,want we say something. I to that withfrom you.the I don’t to lose you. But

want to have that with you. I don’t want to lose you. But it seems like you don’t want that. It seems like you want something more.” To me, it was like an elaborate riddle and he was the elusive sphynx I could no longer recognize. I felt like I was trying to get close to him again, not keep what we had, but reclaim what we had lost. And how could you always go back to two different people anyway? The comment about talking was especially frustrating to me. I had told him over and over he had stopped texting me back, that it felt like he was pulling away. And I had to fucking tell him again. Here I was, the man I was madly in love with offering me exactly what I had wanted all along: to have what he had with Michael. And I didn’t want it. Because I knew I never could. This would be our last phone call. Some days after this conversation, after mulling it over night and day, I spent several hours composing some long text about how it really was my insecurities all long and I was the one with issues I needed to fix. While I don’t think what I said what wrong, or untrue, I admit I folded, almost completely. Except on one point. You want us to have what you had with Michael. But I’m not Michael. He replied almost immediately after I sent the message. Wow. I’m tripping. Will respond ASAP. He never did. Though Liam and I had never been exclusive, as this was all transpiring I tried desperately to see other people. But I found myself falling for the same kinds of guys: in long-term, committed, open relationships, whose boyfriends I like and found perfectly agreeable if not equally attractive, but who, in the end, had no interest in me in the long-run. What was wrong with me? I texted a particular groupchat dedicated to people whose Venus were in Gemini. Is only being attracted to guys who are dating other people but still interested in you a Venus in Gemi-

it seems like you don’t want that. It seems like you want something more.” got an response. LMAO to To ni me,thing? it wasI like an instant elaborate riddle and hesorry was the break it to you, but yes. elusive sphynx I could no longer recognize. I felt like I wanted to simplify this not urge. I don’t I was trying to get close tomyself, him again, keep what hate Liam. Even at times when I felt most betrayed, we had, but reclaim what we had lost. And how could you most go abandoned, most completely forgotten by comhim, always back to two different people anyway? The most totally eclipsed by Michael,frustrating it was never ment about talking was especially to hate me. I felt. This is how I know I love him. He did make I had told him over and over he had stopped texting me me happy, did like make he me was feelpulling like shit, but none of back, that ithefelt away. And I had matters to be completely honest. to that fucking tell particularly, him again. Some time ago I stopped checking every Here I was, the man I was madlyhis in account love with ofday, though sometimes I see his pictures featuring fering me exactly what I had wanted all along: to have the with, And or I a didn’t video Michael sent what henew had guy withhe’s Michael. want it.has Because of himself, even just some abstracted part of his I knew I never or could. see these things I can’t face. ThisI would be our lastand phone call.tell if my soul is holding its breath or letting it out, closing its Some days after this conversation, after mulling refusing to Iblink. Still, Ihours will composing go about it eyes over or night and day, spent several my day and forget for awhile. Recently I find myself some long text about how it really was my insecurities onethe particular I refuse to allclinging long andonto I was one with memory, issues Ione needed to fix. let Igodon’t because I can’t myself to. or untrue, While think what Iallow said what wrong, We had been up all night sharing things I admit I folded, almost completely. Except on with one one another, music and our work and our thoughts. I point. You want us to have what you had with Michael. was prying him about his poetry, about his pieces. But I’m not Michael. finally sentalmost me a link. Michaelafter and II were He He replied immediately sent supthe posed to perform together, but he took some paid message. Wow. I’m tripping. Will respond ASAP. He never gig. did. So i performed anyway. In it, Liam stands alone on stage. The same videoexclusive, of Michaelashethis had Though Liam and I hadswirling never been sent me projects in the background. Though the end was all transpiring I tried desperately to see other of theBut video wouldmyself feature a lot of excesspeople. I found falling forrunning, the same kinds es of receipt paper, and toppling over people, Liam of guys: in long-term, committed, open relationships, starts with a long poem entitled Mitosis. It is a whose boyfriends I like and found perfectly agreeable devoted completelybut to who, his in love Michael, if piece not equally attractive, thefor end, had no their love for one another, and the intertwining, interest in me in the long-run. What was wrong with me? redemptive, enlightened, eternal nature oftothem, of I texted a particular groupchat dedicated people eachVenus other, together. As IIswatched him perform this, whose were in Gemini. only being attracted to my heart galloped in and out of my chest. Then, I guys who are dating other people but still interested was ininlove. in knew you aI Venus Gemini thing? I got an instant response. LMAO sorry to break it to you, but yes. I wanted to simplify myself, this urge. I don’t hate

Art by Tori Jenkins

Comic by Kristel Bugayong

Spacetime by Ameera Iftekhar I feel her shawl slip It flies past my fingers so— Quick! Like running rivers Wrinkles glowing or fading to Void, creating gaps, Warping, falling, Blending again and folding, Around me, it pulls me, wraps around, Envelops and traps me, I fall and yet am caught In her shawl that I hold so fine Between my fingertips As I hold her still And feel all of time still around us as well.

“Girlfriends“ by Xiao Xia Ye

Art by Glo Merado

Dear y’all, Thank you to everyone who submitted and expressed interest in this project. Special thanks to the Subtle Queer Asian Facebook groups who responded so enthusiastically to my idea for a queer love zine. Many submissions came from these sources.

I’m writing this with three minutes until the computer lab closes...in conclusion: Thanks to the acquaintainces, friends and queer family that supported this belated effort. This will be my fourth zine in as many weeks, and I hope it stays long in the hearts of the writers and artists who made it happen and the readers who pick it up.

Art by Dana Chan

Queer Love Zine was a labor of love thought of in early February as a way for queer people to express their experiences with love in the month of love. Submissions came from strangers in the queer community, and close friends who identify as queer. This was laid out in one day, in between classes and after club meetings by Dan Nguyen. Find out more about them and the rest of the contributors here:

Cover Art by Tori Jenkins

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.