T L U
letter from the editor Are you ever astounded by the collective power of beautiful people? I marvel at the individuals who carry the weight of the worldâ€™s disapproval on their shoulders while looking so, so good. That is what I wanted to encapsulate in this shoot: my absolute amazement each time a new face entered the studio and a unique aura of inspiration enveloped the room. I find something so divine in the way a person embodying this kind of identity holds themselves, and I hope that ambiguous wonder translates across these pages. Femininity is often seen as weakness and queerness can be so easily ostracized, so I think indulging in our own individual expression is an empowering form of retaliation. The world tells us to look a certain way or to fit a specific mold, and we say no. An enormous thank you to: Victoria Capraro, Ben Degler, Jade DeRose, Ashley Dunn, Sabel Flynn, Rachel Fucci, Lauren Goldstein, Sydney Hannibal, Natalie Harper, Paige Hart, Elise Van Heuven, Dalton Kearney, Sam Longo, Selah Pomeranitz, Elle Sanchez, and Julianna Sy for making this zine possible. With all the love I have to give, Sara Barber
confidence has not come swift, has not come easy, does not hold strong. i worked for years to understand why i could not wear a skirt for an entire day; i still do not understand. i have learned that self expression is contingent on contentedness. i donâ€™t have to shop on any one side of the store to feel feminine. i donâ€™t have to look feminine to feel feminine. i donâ€™t have to feel feminine to be confident in my identity.
For the longest time I sought refuge in masculinity. I come from a background where being a macho manly-man is the only option, and instead of coming to terms with who I was I dove deep into the world of martial arts, beard ‘fetishism, and shorts that go past your knees. Looking back I realize I was just running from myself. Being queer to me has meant being fully comfortable in my own skin, embracing every facet of my identity in ways that I never thought possible. Being able to wear the clothes that make me feel good, no longer being called a “he,” being queer has been an act of radical self-love. Every time I put on mascara it’s self-care. Every time I remember that it’s ok to like another type of genitalia it’s self-care. Queerness is the freedom to be me.
notice your feelings, recognize them, act on them, feel content about those actions. that is how you learn to express anything.
There is nothing wrong with being honest with people about how you feel. Tell someone that you miss them, that youâ€™re worried about them, that you love them. Let other people get to know you and allow yourself to trust.