Colby Queer Zine
Gender is not sex Both socially constructed Neither should matter -Anon
The three women in white dresses are staring at me like I’m all cold soda all over the floor. Please tell me you understand I’m saying they think I am something good wasted. Look at me with my pretty picket teeth and lips like a salmon pulled from the river, its stomach cut open. I have long hair, for God’s sake, and a skirt that circles my ankles like a cat for comfort. Are these women sucking their cheeks into hollows because of where I hide my hands? The answer is clear from the way they hold their coffee cups, but still, I want to ask because maybe it would make their livers move like cold eels; I am sometimes mean, I know. You know this, and you know, too (too well) that I hate to be wrong, but today, I am standing here on the iced street corner outside Marcy’s Diner in this somewhere, Maine and I’m not alone and I’d like nothing more than for the women at the window booth to be thinking right now, what beautiful women holding on to each other; wouldn’t we all be so lucky to have such June this time of year? -Anne Vetter
I was at a party last night, and I was dancing with a boy -- just dancing. Dancing turned sexual as he put his arms around me and slid his hands up and down my waist. He kissed my neck and pulled my hips close, boner pressing at my vagina. I'm a queer woman. I'm not attracted to men; I like vagina owners. But still, I kept grinding against this man because I didn't know how to stop. I didn't know how to tell him no without offending him, without making him mad. I felt gross and uncomfortable, I felt scared, I felt like I owed it to him to touch him back, and now I feel guilty because I didn't stand up for myself and my sexuality. I wish I could have just told him no, that I wasn't into that, but it's not that simple, and it makes me upset. -Anon
Lets Talk About Asexuality pt.1 I love talking about sex. Anyone who has had enough conversations with me knows this. I love it. Anything to do with sex. Let's talk about masturbation. Sex toys. Queer sex. Kinky sex. Group sex. How awesome the clitoris is. The orgasm gap. The fact that penis-in-vagina is not the only type of sex to exist ever. Let’s talk about how to decrease the stigma around sex. Let’s talk about the ways power dynamics arise in sex and perpetuate systems of oppression. This is an almost inexhaustible list. And I could talk for hours. But, here’s the thing. I don’t actually like sex. I’m gray asexual. I experience some sexual attraction, but sex itself is mostly pointless to me. It’s like painting my nails. It’s really not necessary, I don’t do it often, and it’s kind of fun, but I always screw up and it’s messy, so it’s usually not worth it. It probably doesn’t make sense that a person who spends so much time thinking and talking about sex could be asexual. I mean, these conversations don’t actually benefit me. Why am I so invested in it? So much of my brainspace is taken up by this think that I don’t even like in reality. There’s a weird contradiction there. How do I explain to someone that even though I talked to them for hours about how frustrating the idea of sex as this “evil scary bad thing that we need to avoid at all costs” is, I don’t actually want to do more than just cuddle and maybe kiss a bit?
Lets Talk About Asexuality pt.2 I feel like a hypocrite sometimes for telling people to not have sex just because someone else wants it, or because they feel like they should be having it, or they’re just scared that someone will leave them if they aren’t sexually satisfying enough, because at those times, that person is me. I feel like a hypocrite sometimes for telling people to be active participants in their own sexuality, when on the occasions when I do have sex, I’m detached and not-really-there, just doing it because my partner likes it, and it’s not like it’s bad really, it’s just another thing that happens. People assume because I talk about sex so much that I must really like it. I believe in sex positivity. But I’m also gray asexual. We all too often get so caught up in empowering people to have the sex they want when they want it, that we forget to mention that it’s okay to not want it, too. So, I have one last thing to add to my list of things to talk about. Let’s talk about asexuality.
When I first walked onto Colby I noticed one thing – Everyone was so white and looked so straight. During orientation I was told that as I spent more time here I would see that it is less straight, and less white than it seemed. Another boy gave me the response: “boys are always closer than you think.” But I don’t want to have to think about where boys are. I don’t want to have to wonder if the
boy I am talking with is someone I could look for more in. I don’t want to have to wait for someone to find me, while I fear that I’m surrounded by straight people. You don’t all have to be out if you aren’t ready, I know it took me a long time, but I’m not out so the rest of you can find me, while you still continue to hide. I’m out for myself, so I don’t’ have to feel like I’m lying to everyone when I know I could pass if I wanted to. I’m out because whether I want it to be or not, it’s part of who I am. I’m out because I shouldn’t have to wait to get to know Colby better before challenging its norm. I’m out so you, when you walk onto campus for the first time, know that we are actually here, and that yes, not everywhere will be friendly to you, but
so that you at least know that you have somewhere to go, and that I’m not just another straight white guy. -Jason Gurevitch
Best Parts About Being Queer/ LGBT+ at Colby: -Having sex with hot girls -Great People <3 We stand out -By junior year, at least half my friends came out to one another, and we had this beautiful feeling of ~everyone's a little bit gay here~ -Being friends with other queer women
Best Professors at Colby to Talk to About Queerness with: (as sumbitted anonomously, presented without comment) -Lisa Arellano -Lisa Arellano -not dr turk LOL -Rabbi Issacs/ Mel Weiss -Myrl Beam (WE MISS YOU), Lisa Arellano -- but tbh the entire WGSS department -Margaret McFadden
Less Good Parts About Being Queer/ LGBT at Colby: pt.1 -1. me: kisses girl colby: OH MY GOD SHE HAS THE LESBIAN 2. one time i got kicked out of a party while i was making out with a girl because they didn't want to see that there so that was fun 3. my roommate won't change in front of me 4. literally all the time i get the "but you don't look queer" talk 5. there are legit no out guys so there's no community for queer guys (I'm not a guy but still) 6. being rightfully afraid that the football guys are gonna throw ice blocks at me from their window 7. in spanish class we had to do this activity about "how to get guys/girls" and it was super heteronormative and uncomfortable for me 8. when i came out here i found out that i had already been outed 9. straight people using me as an experiment or for an "i'm in college let's be free and have fun" sort of night 10. i was talking to my (other) spanish teacher about my novia and she corrected it to novio thinking she was correcting my grammar but she was actually correcting my sexuality oops 11. people thinking it's a phase or something i'm just experimenting with 12. people thinking being sexually assaulted made me queer 13. people assuming ur straight 14. me talking to boy: i'm queer boy: that's because you havent slept with me yet (((((;
Less Good Parts About Being Queer/ LGBT at Colby: pt.2 -Hate, homophobia, etc// -It's not too hard to find a beautiful, queer bubble in Pugh/WGSS/certain groups of friends. But it's also not hard to remember that it is just that: a bubble. This campus is violent, homophobic, transmisogynistic. This campus can kill more quickly than it cultivates queerness, and the administration likes to pretend that neither exists.
-The queer community's small, I'm surrounded by goddamn fuckboys all the fucking time, people assume I'm a lesbian whenever I hook up with a girl, and a shitton of other things -Closeted straight people -Internalized Homophobia
So anyway, The man in the museum tells me the smell of snow melting has set itself all through the air. I thought it was the smell of pavement licking her fingers clean of winter every morning like jam. I guess itâ€™s just a question of agency. All days last spring, I shrouded myself like the earth under an unusual snowfall (heavy and unmelting and reaching its arms for May.) But now, with the dead grass all undressed too early, I want to show the frozen mud the photos I take of myself naked and eye-direct and beautiful. Because, look, look I too know how to lay bare when so many large-blued voices think we should wear jackets of modesty. Yes, this winter, I am ready, I am open, I amâ€”
From Making Things Perfectly Queer
From Making Things Perfectly Queer
From Making Things Perfectly Queer
From Making Things Perfectly Queer
Poem for Her in Which I Describe how it Feels Right Before She yes, thatâ€™s it, maybe, yes yes, that small kettle hole inside that is waiting to be like the hollows I dug in the beach-sand at lowtide; filling without effort with that salt sea, those dissolved ions. this cavern all through me hungry-open like a wretched dogâ€™s mouth (lashing and barking and begging) oh, this is the way we are wanting for each otherâ€™s brackish offerings- it is violent, yes yes, all impatient and waiting for a filling-Anne Vetter
Poems from "Where You and I Becoming And:" -1. Can You see With me here? 0. Oh â€“ 1. Feelings are rooms We enter and stay in, Get trapped in, Or escape from. We sleep in hallways â€“ Maybe. Rooms are spaces, Private spaces, Open your doors, And, Let stars fly in space To make reality, (In public space, Baby, you see me) Together in space, Baby. My baby. You, baby. Thank god there are still forbidden Places Left to explore And I can hear from the hallway And even porn knows what art is, Art being the opening of new doors, Baby. 2. Baby, Someone to smoke,
To defy, And die with. May you be sand, So I may bottle And pour And count you, Bit by bit Until you’re my stone, If you please, Baby boy. You run funny And you talk funny And we’re allowed each other And we do not know what to do with that Or each other, Or do excuses make it easier And – And do you love me? I’m doing this now and Am I drunk and Am I special and Am I worthy and Am I what’s been going on and Can I change and what – Am I now And what is small In the big city And I’ll be there In a year, But that’s “not really” And I love you too, But can that be And is that real When it’s such a thing the world tells you – Baby, baby, baby – Oh – I knew this was coming. It’s a now I am choosing to feel –
To let in what’s outside me, So You can be and see What’s inside, Baby. What do you see With me, Here? 3. I am dripping through Slits of a dock Into lake water, Like oil, Swirling technicolor Among green algae And reeds and bugs And dissipating before the sand. The sun presses With a gentle White hand. I move between Fingers and the Little black hairs On your knuckles. You, Who I wait for. 4. I feel so full at the end of emptiness, So that’s good Because soon I’ll have done it all And be what most people Will remember, Except nurses And grandchildren And those crucial And a bit bullshit people
And it will be what I did then When I wasn’t supposed to yet realize What is happening. I forget about death, Like I forget that I’m gay. I know. There are moments when I really know Because I can’t sleep And my stomach is under the bed, But life thankfully takes up space, But then – Will you figure this out for me, So I can sleep in the hallway? Will you be out there for me, So I can spend forever in here – Fucking and figuring out What people mean to each other When it’s a lone and unmapped thing To live, bitch. 5. You get used to sitting on your wallet, So your gay ass doesn’t feel it anymore. I swam in the lake Before I swam in the pool, But they’re usually together, Both are available Because they like to put everything I like next to each other, Like tabs And you could have been somebody in both – The loud And quiet (Oh, so quiet and queer) – Senses of the world To you, Peace and pussytime solider – Kiss your boyfriend, Your baby boy,
Boy, A boy, A boy becoming a man You come with And in And on, Whatever that means And be better For him Just like you always figured And hold him to what you hold yourself to As you hold him, Baby. 6. Well – A grey gay hair grew today Where my hair parts So you can see it Unless you don’t want to think About death in this little way So you don’t get inundated With reminders that make You carve out a brave life For yourself – you Covered in gay hairs Soon to be carried away In garbage bags I am questions. You are – What does it mean They see us now We can be like them We should like them It would make it easier If we all agreed On the big things And maybe we do But the particulars – The details that are What life looks and feels Like –
For me It’s You Not anyone else, But that’s not the way it works. You are changing, Expanding, Like me, Like them, Like where We are. Where You and I Becoming And Is here and Here and Over there. If we walk As one and – Don’t make A sound Because That would betray And Like before, When it wasn’t Now And Wasn’t What will be Because We weren’t becoming When we became What I am Not And And You Who is always running Away to over there Where I don’t know What it is Maybe, Maybe, Maybe, Now, Baby,
Baby, Baby, Baby – What is it When they’re telling You what it is They, many they, I am they Because I’m not you Because I am after you, You define me, So I am many And maybe that’s sad Unless You and I Becoming And Is they I, They, Them, My, Me, Baby. Just look at me in a way Someone else describes me And you’ll get it And we’ll be off To something bringing me to You.
A few things: I was in Foss last week (pride week), and there were a bunch of people there wearing pride shirts, also my friend with her nonbinary partner. My friend and her partner kissed quickly and the people in line in front of me said, "Oh my GOD there are so many queers here" (with emphasis on the word queers and said in a condescending tone). As someone who's in a new relationship with another woman, witnessing situations/reactions like this to openly queer couples makes me scared and uncomfortable to make our relationship public. Also this: I've been wearing masculine clothes lately/taking on a more masculine role in general, and I'm finding it to be super liberating. Whether or not it's true, I feel like I'm getting less attention from boys. I don't like all the sexual attention I normally get, and this just lets me walk to class like a fucking person. I also feel like when I wear a lot of makeup and a cutesy dress part of me does it for men, and it's nice to know I'm dressing for myself and to please myself. It's really nice to be able to do masculine things too, and I'm lucky that I've found outlets to do that where people are accepting of it, because it's definitely just me doing the things I like but felt uncomfortable doing before, mostly because of how men react and feel about it. Taking on a masculine role also makes me feel a lot stronger. Maybe that speaks toward how fucked up masculinity is, who knows. But I think the most important part for me is that I'm tired of being seen as a sex object and I feel like more of a person when I wear masculine things. Just some thoughtssss -Anon
Girls I’ve Kissed and Didn’t Love
We kissed in the doorway when she told me you are so beautiful and asked me can I kiss you and I said nothing just brought my lips to her lips and her lips were jasmine and everything was soft as fall evenings and raspberry jam. We kissed on the floor in the stairwell on the way back to her room we were drunk on new love and and each others tongues and we didn’t mind the stares climbed the stairs fell off the bed and fell asleep on the ground together. We kissed outside the party where we hadn’t met for the first time but had seen each other different for the first time and realized it was time for us now to know each other’s bodies and she asked me can I kiss you and I said um yes and then pushed my wine stained lips hard into her wine stained lips and drank. We kissed and it was everything we kissed and it was nothing we kissed and I didn’t tell my mom we kissed and I needed her we kissed and I lost her but we kissed.
Ode to Queer Jewish Sunshine. I wish I met you earlier in my time here at this damn suffocating school. I feel like that about a few people, but you stand out. As everyone explores their sexuality and pin their hatred for themselves on to others, you create a Zine for the next generation. I hear notes and I see you dancing on beat. Your second sentences stream and your ideas flow down that horrid stream we call life. What is it about you? Your purple lilac dye stained my memory. Your glasses are just as. Your shoes are just as. Your notes are just as. I always wondered what it would be like to cuddle with you. Could I purr in your ear and stay warm? You are probably thinking who the fucks are you & awww at the same time. I ask that this be posted in the Zine because people need to grasp how affection and desire and lust and touch are outcasted for Queers on this campus. I want this words to bleed through your pale skin and into the fingertips of those who come in contact. You snatched out the frame and what is it about you? -Anon
Bookends An hour and a half after I need to be sleeping, I’m still touching myself thinking about Diego Rivera, big heavy hands, a gaze like an open mouth. I think I just want to be consumed, digested like guava or some other lozenge that dissolves in the throat. But in the almost morning, in the body-turns before I wake, I’m dreaming of my girlfriend, her favorite singer. They say they have some kind of lovesong painted on the flats of their fingers, try to press their hands into my boneless parts, the slits in my velvet. I can’t let them, though I know they’re earnest. Look at who I’ll let have me these days--and it all must mean something about those who offer and those who take. -Anne Vetter
WRITE IT DOWN pt.1 I don’t know how to write about my queerness. I’ve started this same essay six times today, so I can’t say I haven’t tried. Sitting beside me, I have a handwritten list of everything I want to write, but the list just keeps getting longer, and I don’t know how to say all of it at once. I want to write about how coming out was simple for me – done over text, followed by rainbow emojis and unquestioned support. I want to write about the guilt that I often feel in knowing that my coming out story is a privileged one. I want to write about how being queer answered more questions than it asked, helping me finally put together the pieces of why I was so nervous around those pretty girls in high school, and allowing me more fully believe that femininity can be actual magic. I want to write about how I couldn’t come out to my (now ex-) boyfriend after I realized I was queer. He already had jealousy problems, and I worried he would think I would cheat on him. I want to write about the day I scrolled through Tumblr and realized that concern wasn’t unique.
WRITE IT DOWN pt.2 I want to write about my queerness as a superpower, as x-ray vision allowing me to see through gender with a love so intense that I get to experience the beauty and masterpiece that is all things masculine, feminine, both, and neither. My queerness is my special skill that doesn’t limit me to conventions that tell me which people I should adore – I get to adore all of them. I want to write about the first time I kissed a feminine person and choked on my own shame, and I want to write about the second time I kissed a feminine person and we let ourselves be two women in a bed, our arms looped around one another, aching, knowing their dress and tights would have to go away when we decided it was time to sleep. I want to write about wishing I could tell them they are beautiful every day, no matter how they present, but I know better than most that you can’t force the notion of beauty onto a person. I want to write about gay jokes. For example: Friend: Hang on, that line’s not straight. Me: That’s okay, neither am I.
WRITE IT DOWN pt.3 I want to write about not feeling gay enough for The Community. I’ve never been to Pride, I didn’t always know I was gay, and gay bars (read: all bars) are not my cup of tea. But I also want to write about being a stereotype: the nose-ringed, flannel-clad, beanie-wearing Women’s Studies Major; the angry feminist atheist with a loud voice and terrible depression; the tattooed, wannabe-spoken word poet; The Gay Cousin, as my sister so lovingly puts it. But I can’t write about all of it – not in a rush, and not in one anonymous essay. So I’ll leave with this: I’m here, I’m queer, I’m complex in some ways and simple in others. I love my queerness, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t struggled with it. I think femininity is the most powerful form of magic. I am a horrible romantic, and my capacity for sweet morning giggles and soft neck kisses goes beyond the confines that the patriarchy tried to set up for me. I’m powerful and strong, sometimes depressed and distraught, but at the end of the day, I am still here. And maybe I don’t have time right now, but believe me: someday? Someday, I’ll write about all of it. -Anon
Listen, I don’t write love poems, but I did write one for you after I looked at your lips tracing those things you say that make me wilt, but you could have said nothing and I still would have wanted you, you could have been my— So what did it mean when we grasped hands and slid all boots and feet over the fragile landscape? You told me not to be afraid. That day I imagined moving to the city with you in the seat in the car next to me, giving me directions and you’re introducing me to your mom and then we’re moving into a flat in Bushwick or the Bronx together. I want to tell you the story of the way you make my brain feel like honey in the hot sun, sticky and sweet and useless. I’m always thinking about introducing you to my mom and your mom to my mom and our families becoming, but you haven’t even looked at me since I told you I was “excited to see you” and you decided you weren’t ready to be a dyke-dyke yet. Listen, here I am— and have been for almost four years just writing your name in notebooks, dreaming that we’re on the beach (yes, the beach) all palms sweating and ankles touching and speaking low into each others mouths. I’m still waking up alone and wondering what you taste like after someone tells you they love you. -Lydia Nicholson
Dear Readers, Welcome to the Colby Queer Zine 2016. Thanks for reading. Thanks to Hemangini Gupta for being inspiring and uplifting and willing to be a part of making this all come together. To Chandra Bhimull, Lisa Arellano and Margaret McFadden for making this imaginable. Thanks to the Colby queer community for being you, good luck, be kind to yourselves. Read this with friends, read it in your bed alone, but I hope you read it and I hope it makes you feel known. In solidarity, Lydia Nicholson Colby College Class of 2016
By Queers @ colby, 4 Queers @ colby