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a queer chicago collaboration of culture & class(lessness)

Spring 2011


#msaed make something awful every day

get the goods at totes-cute.com


Chicago Irl #1, spring 2011 Topher McCulloch, editor-in-chief & design Joseph Varisco, creative director & chef Ethan, marketing info@chicagoirl.com http://www.chicagoirl.com Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @chicagoirl | facebook.com/ChicagoIRL All models are age 18 or older. All images and writings Š2011 their respective contributors. All rights reserved.

OUR Contributors Dane Hallmark Noah Ivey Rebecca Kling Seth Lester Rebecca Mir Bruce Ortiz Erik Peterson Katia Piza Jesus Plaza Tara Preston Aay Preston-Myint Colin Self Daviel Shy Andy Siharath Andrew Spena Brandon C Tobin

v1.6 Second printing

Above: Tara Preston, Blue Line


Welcome to the debut issue of Chicago IRL, a new zine cataloging queer creative culture in Chicago. With this publication, we hope not only to curate the work of up-and-coming queer talent, but also to inspire new collaborations and explorations. Although much of our coordination used the internet to connect and engage us with our beloved contributors, we desire to encourage new interactions in real life as well. The past year has taken us to the shores of various social spaces and put us in contact with figures in creative communities in and around Chicago. Our pens scribbled furiously as we plotted maps and planted seeds, hoping something on the journey would bear fruit. Finally, the long winter has melted and with it revealed the culmination of our early efforts in Chicago IRL. It is a zine made by and for the disenchanted, hopeful, and unemployed revolutionaries, muppets, power fisters, and magicians to capture the spirit of a new dawn. We hope you will find something that angers you, makes you laugh, stimulates you to take action, or causes you to pause and keep reading. Without your contributions, this zine would not have come to be. Enjoy, enrich yourself, waste some time and kick back and keep sending us material, we’ve only just begun. – ToJo & Ethan spring 2011


Dane Hallmark

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Jesus Plaza kmp/jmax

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An excerpt Katia Piza

She stood in front of the mirror, pulled her slip off and pinned up her hair. Her body wasn’t magnificent in comparison to the general sense of beauty. Her every move brought out the provocative, full taut curves of her hips, breasts and buttocks. She took one hand and cupped her breast, squeezing it subtly. Then pinching the very tip of her nipple, until she let out a small cry of excitement. She ran her hand down her rib cage and up and down the curve of her hips. The boy had entered the room quietly and had been watching her delight in her curvy, full body. His whole body flushed with warmth. Just then the girl leaned over and there he stood behind her with his naked penis thrust outward to her. He half dragged, half carried her to the bed. He had a wild desire to bend her to his will. She took his hard cock in her hands and pushed it in her. His cock was hard and strong, an ecstasy of pain moving inside her. The boy flipped the girl over and laid her on her stomach where he entered her from behind. One moment wildly holding her down and pulling her hair, the next laying completely on top of her, slowly taking his dick in and out of her. He would take his hard cock in his hands and touch the tip of her clitoris ever so gently, and she begged for more. He took the most enjoyment of the girl from behind. Not that he didn’t think she was beautiful. After all, it was her face, wide eyes and full, red, pouty lips that gave him an erection just watching her speak. It was from behind, in watching every curve from her breasts to her ass move. Her body moved different from behind and he took pleasure from watching it. So did she.

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Aay Preston-Myint It Gets Worse

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Andrew Spena DUDELESSNUDE [7], 26 y/o, last here: Jan 07 2011

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Daviel Shy Excerpt from Four Girls (Nutshell)

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Andy Siharath

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consent to be touched rebecca kling

Last night, the friend I’m visiting hosted a Christmas party. It was lots of fun: tons to eat, delicious desserts, pretty decorations, huge number of drinks, and good people, some who I knew and some whom I was meeting for the first time. But around 12:30AM, as the party was starting to wind down, I came upstairs to hear “I said don’t touch my back!” screamed as a girl rushed past me and to the basement, followed quickly by the host. Walking into the living room, I saw a guy, J, standing there sort of confused, asking, “What the hell was her problem?” I couldn’t help myself, and snapped, “Well, did she say not to touch her?” “I only touched her once,” came his obviously frustrated reply. This made me pause, because I didn’t want to unfairly assume that he’d been a dick, if she actually had overreacted. Nonetheless, I asked, “Yeah, and when she said ‘Don’t’ did you apologize or act like a jerk?” “She didn’t need to be such a bitch about it!” We went back and forth a few more times, until the host came back and asked us to stop arguing. The girl in question, who had “freaked out,” had a medical condition (it turned out) that made touching her back very painful. She was crying in the basement, and ended up going to the hospital. There’s a hypothetical situation that someone told me a while back, which I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. (Don’t worry, this’ll get around to consent eventually.) Suppose two people are told by their mechanics that their brakes are on the way out, and could go at any time. One of them, Alice, drives for six months with potentially deadly brakes, but no accidents, until she’s finally able to afford fixing them. The other, Bob, drives for only one month before his brakes give out, causing him to slide into an intersection and kill a pedestrian. The question is this: Who behaved more dangerously? Alice or Bob? The answer is that they both behaved in the same, dangerous, manner. Alice was lucky enough not to have to pay for her poor decisions, while Bob wasn’t so lucky. But they both made the same poor decision, and both could have ended up with the same awful result.

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I don’t think touching without consent is quite so extreme – patting someone on the back will almost never result in injury – but you never know when someone might be physically or emotionally fragile, and whether your touch will hurt them in unexpected ways. And even if the touch doesn’t ‘hurt’ them, it may simply make them uncomfortable Because, ultimately, touch and consent exist on a continuum. Patting someone on the back is not the same as rape, I’m not saying the two are equivalent, and I’m not saying this guy last night was a rapist, or the girl was raped. But I do think, in general, assuming nonconsensual touch is acceptable is a bad thing, and can be one of the factors which – on a cultural level – leads to people thinking sex without explicit consent is OK. That said, I know I’m not perfect. I can think of a few times in the last month alone that I touched someone I didn’t know very well, without their consent, on a shoulder or back or leg. (And I’d imagine there are more times that I’m not remembering.) I hope it’s possible to find a balance between asking for and receiving consent and feeling comfortable around people who make me feel safe, and make me want to reach out to them and engage in physical contact. It’s a balance I’m still working on, though.

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Tara Preston

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Northern Lights Erik Roldan

Hey Erik, what’s a Northern Lights Go-Go Gothic Dancer? Northern Lights is a new queer performance and dance party held every last Wednesday of the month at Parlour on Clark, 6341 N. Clark in Chicago at 9pm. The party is curated by myself and Nicole Garneau, and we strive for an open environment for all queers and gender expressions. The Northern Lights Go-Go Gothic Dancers are there to provide a sexy atmosphere for the dance party, and they are a twist on the stereotypically hairless, muscley, lifeless go-go dancers you see at a gay strip bar.  But Erik, how are they different?  A Go-Go Gothic is different because 1. You MUST dress goth. This can be vampire, fetish, hippie or camp inspired goth, but black is the color, and dark is the look. 2. There are always two Go-Go Gothics, and they will always represent different kinds of sexy, from femme to butch, fat to petite, twink to bear, cis to trans, younger to older—it’s all about making sure we ALL know how sexy we are.  Yeah, but why the hell are they gothic?  BECAUSE. Goth is a fun way for people to dress up and be creative about a look, and it’s very versatile. I had a hunch, and it has totally come true, that someone who wouldn’t normally want to go-go dance would totally do it as a goth. It’s liberating, like drag, but it’s also a common cultural reference point. We all have black clothes! SO many people have come out of the woodwork asking if they can be a NLGGGD, and past dancers have told me how incredible they feel afterwards.  How does someone become a Northern Lights Go-Go Gothic Dancer? TALK TO ME. Email me, Facebook me, tweet at me. As long as you can dance for two hours, want to make some $$ and can turn out a gothic look, you are in! We are always looking for all kinds of bodies to represent! email: erikroldan@gmail.com facebook: facebook.com/erik.roldan twitter: @rolderik 16

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Jesus Plaza msh

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My Favorite Thing About Chicago Seth Lester

I’m not sure if I had any expectations about Chicago prior to arriving here on a train in the second week of November. I can’t really remember much about the morning I arrived other than being excited and mostly hung over. Dawn was breaking across flat, mundane, boring as shit Ohio as we stopped briefly in Toledo, yet another city I have never been to. At that point I was a scant six more hours away from Chicago, city #7. I had booked my ride to Chicago on an Amtrak line called the “Lake Shore Limited,” so called because it cuts directly across the Empire State to Rochester and then follows the shoreline of Lake Erie from then on to Chicago. The route is billed as scenic and awe-inspiring, but the train pulls out of Manhattan an hour before sunset. It was as dark as shit before we even reached Schenectady, and then I was stuck on the fucking Lame Shit Limited for the next 19 hours, the next 13 of which were in total darkness. In Albany we had an almost-hour of layover, so I purchased a couple bottles of crappy red wine, which I had entirely consumed by the time we were in Toledo. I had fallen asleep a couple of times with a plastic cupful of it in my hands, and after an almost-spill incident as we were pulling out of Buffalo around midnight, I decided it was best to finish the wine directly from the bottle, which I did. At 7:00 am, I was jarred awake by the train porter announcing the opening of the dining car for breakfast as our train was scooting along the Michigan-Ohio border. The train was moving west and our backs were to the sun, but a raging wine hangover and miscellaneous screaming children kept me from returning to sleep despite only really getting about four hours of it, and eventually I stumbled down to the dining car for a meal of microwaved egg product and toast and coffee. Seated across from me was a man named Leo, an attorney from New York headed to Chicago for a job interview, and we began to make casual conversation. I’m always sort of annoyed when people ask me the question, “What do you do?” I call this the “DC Question” because I heard it more in Washington, DC than I did in any other city I lived through. During my morning commutes on the Metrorail from Columbia Heights towards Chinatown, the train was packed with suits and ties and eyes crammed with that glimmer of ambition that would meet your own groggy countenance and say, “I’ll fucking cut you down for another page on my resume.” To this day, I’m still a little afraid of neckties. And there, loosening his own necktie and bathing his microwaved eggs in salt as the train crawled through some remote field in Ohio, Leo asked me The DC Question. 18

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I don’t like this question, but not because I’m not proud of the answer. I mostly don’t like it because it takes so long for me to answer it, but I principally don’t like it because “What Do You Do?” more often than not means, “What Can You Do For Me?” The honest truth: “I’m a Traveling Barista,” I’d say. “I move from city to city every three to four months, working in coffeeshops along the way.” “Really? You’re shitting me.” “Nope! Promise.” “Why are you doing this? What’s the point?” (“What about your resume?!” or, better yet: “What about my resume?!”) When I first started traveling, it was hard to tell people that answer and simultaneously convince them that I was serious about it, but over time I’ve added little tidbits to the explanation in order to fully convey my conviction to the profession of Traveling Barista: “Chicago will be the seventh city I’ve called home in under two years!” “It’s a four year project and I’m almost halfway done!” Sometimes I run down the list of cities I’ve lived in so far and pretend like I’ve forgotten one of them; or, that recounting them leaves me out of breath: “well, after Charlottesville, I lived in Richmond, then, uh... um... Oh! Yes! DC!” This is silly, since DC was one of my favorite places to live, and I barely spent three weeks in Richmond. Speaking of silly replies, sometimes I joke about avoiding graduate school or fleeing the IRS, or running from unrequited love. And, sometimes, I completely lie. “I’m a profit and loss analyst for yoga studios.” or “I’m a systems programmer for a video game company.” Naturally, when I take this route it’s because I have somehow figured that being totally dishonest about this question will actually be easier than being honest. Or, more likely, it’s because I think you’re asking me: “How Will Knowing You Benefit Me?” and, upon hearing that particular vile inflection of this question, I am instantly left wanting nothing more in life than to completely disappoint you. (At this point I would like to apologize to the nice lady on the Amtrak Crescent line train who worked for the post office: I am not a whitewater rafting instructor. And to the guy at that party in Logan Circle in DC where everyone was wearing neckties and I showed up in jorts with a suitcase of PBR: I am not a district manager for spring

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Chipotle. Oh, and you lovely young attorneys at the piano bar in Chelsea: I solemnly regret that I am not an apprentice sushi chef, because I am awfully fond of sushi. There are many more of you out there and maybe one day I will be revealed for the scourge that I am, but do you even really care?) As Leo was chewing his mouthful of eggs and salt and toast, I chewed, in my head, my answer to this particular instance of the DC Question. Leo had not yet told me what he did for a living, and I do fear that future despicable moment in time where, one day, I admit that I’m a butchery consultant for exotic game and the person across the table from me responds “Oh, me too! Were you at the last Exotic Game Butcher’s Guild retreat?” Squinting as I looked out on the wide open pasture in south Michigan speckled in snow, I had to figure out whether or not to tell this man the truth. Only hours earlier, he undoubtedly saw me pounding my second bottle of Sutter Home Merlot while gazing out towards the dark expanse between Cleveland and Sandusky and it was likely the case that I didn’t have much to prove to this man. Regrettably, attorneys like Leo have a bad track record for asking The DC Question for the wrongest of reasons, and Leo’s necktie suggested a world of occupations I could admit to having taken up that had absolutely nothing to do with his own (e.g., septic tank cleaner, wheelchair mechanic, exotic snake dealer). The possibilities were limitless here, and just before but I told Leo that I was an Amtrak secret shopper, I decided to tell him that I was, in fact, a Traveling Barista. Sadly, his interest seemed to vanish right around the time his breakfast did, leaving me regretting that I didn’t carve out another fun story from thin air for the sake of brandishing my own twisted sense of justice. Now, at the time of this writing, I have lived in Chicago for three months and 25 days, and I’m gearing up for my next move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, city #8. In what will eventually be more than a four month stay here in the Windy City, I have come to the realization that Chicago has been my favorite place to live so far, even more than Philadelphia, more than DC, and definitely more than New York. Now, I’ve lived in Chicago during its nasty and powerful winter. I rode my bike to work and back every day through the cold, the ice, the snow, and the salt. I wasn’t even stopped, not even for one day, by a blizzard that paralyzed the city. I love Chicago and I hate the idea of leaving. I love its big streets, its architecturally diverse skyline pitted against the backdrop of gleaming Lake Michigan, the intuitive public transportation, and the abundance of wonderful coffee and passionate people. But I also love that hardly anyone in Chicago ever asks you, “What do you do?” 20

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Topher McCulloch Adam (based on a photograph by Walt Cessna)

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Dane Hallmark Otter Mac


Topher McCulloch Sorry, Barbara

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Held in Formaldehyde Noah Ivey

Part 1: Once a Fecund Mare this is for those who never knew i loved themi watched you watched with torch eyes they scorched my eyebrows the arches cut my brain cut my/ speech “you’re shaking” “i’m just cold.” “oh ok.” on nights we shared a bed the sweat was excruciating you (i) turned away/ turned yr (my) back/ turned in my (yr) head/ on nights we didn’t share a bed the sheets were cool and clean i turned turned turned my my my head my my my body to you what is it that i love about you WHAT IS IT THAT I LOVE ABOUT YOUbehind these eyes a galaxy is collapsinga galaxy where you are ah ah ah/ a supermassive black hole Part 2: The Mare and the Gallant Stallion and this is for those who thought they knew i loved themto follow the astronomical analogical whatever: what exactly happened before 10-43 seconds after the Big Bang and does it really fucking matter anyway could we really have been nothing then or did those fractions stretch into a sort of backwards eternity? 26

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there’s a kinda relief in knowing we’ll never be knowing exactly what all there is to be knowing -but still it drives me FUCKING CRAZY COULD WE REALLY HAVE BEEN NOTHING FUCK!!!!!!!! it’s not true it’s not true it’s not true it’s not true it’s not true it’s not true it’s not you still drip down the small of my back/ you pool around my naked ankles you are a breeding ground for mosquitoes an empire of mold a hurricane of spores/ invisible to the naked eye carrying a question into my nostrils and my leathery lungs and astronomy doesn’t have a fucking thing to do with it: were we really nothing? Part 3: In the Belly of the Mare this. this is for those who love(d) me what can i say i tried tried to quit smoking. when i was fourteen and i still Believed i prayed for dreamt of Cancer, or any righteous murderer but mostly Cancer isn’t that a fucking riot? “Dear God please smite me with a nasty case o’ Cancer please just so’s long as

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it kills me dead real real quick and not in like twenty five years but like soon like tomorrow maybe ok please thank you God i hope to see you soon like real soon! love, me” fucking hilarious. but- there’s something growing inside me now maybe/ a spot on my lung or a desire a need a passion a DESPERATION for a life/ life. just life i lied when i said tried but i think i might be/ ready to try now (thank you) Part 4: The Mare Succumbs to Colic and and and THIS is for those whom i will never love i get horny when i think about you your eyes which are all eyes your lips which are all lips your hair which is all hair the curve of your hip bone (your coxal bone) which exists only in my mind or in a bed i rent writhing pulsing pumping throbbing twisting meltingaaaAAAHHHcumming quick i take a shower the water stings it burns it marks the skin which blisters and peels and smells like hydrogen peroxide sizzling and fizzling and then i go out again to find you again and again i look for you and again i find you again our skin is our largest organ/ i can stand to lose some more until i’m see through and amphibious like those frogs in Venezuela or wherever until my guts burst through and everyone 28

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or no one sees me/ sees me for who i really am An Epilogue for the Alabaster Foal the Ivory Foal the Porcelain Foal the Marble Foal: you see, there was once this mare a thoroughbred she blazed the summer white blazed the fields clean a stallion came and came inside her she cantered with joy at being full being full of a life and then her guts twisted/ rung like a wet rag in horror she pawed and she groaned her sweat was her child’s blood when she died they cut her open rent her twisted guts in two wrenched the foal from the greasy tangle of his mother’s insides it’s fear that keeps me from You keeps me curled in a nest of sticky sheets and candy wrappers but i swear i swear this can’t last forever, right? we will bathe each other and touch our skin with clean fingernails we will claw each other’s backs and the blood! will be the sweetest and our spit will be made to mix/ and and and our eyes- will never belie our desire our love our/ this is for whomever i have yet to love

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Andy Siharath Untitled, 2010

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Andy Siharath Morning, 2010

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Brandon C Tobin


A MANIFESTO Colin Self

I was born a reflection, a conceptual identity peering into my own consciousness with persistent eyes. Self, the myth of individualism, is pertinently residential as a part of my own identity. It is both the mirror and my eyes, looking at one another with inversion. From me, I can see myself, feel myself, and seek examination of my being. Each experience, relation, memory, and thought comes back to my self and my participation with the physical world. The Colin Self. WHO AM I?: I AM AN IDEA, CREATOR, AND EXPEDITER. My sexuality places me in a subculture or counterculture. I classify myself as a boy by my physical body, the way I feel inside my body. The way my body feels and looks in comparison to the other bodies I have seen. Performance artist and musician are two roles of practice or ritual. I intentionally and unintentionally create performance and music. They are habits that construct my social community and operation in society. Creating art is my most important task, because art is the operative word in my identity ART is a mirror of ourselves and our reality. Art is a SELF. Art is an exploration of identity, culture, and a process of liberation. CLASSIFICATION: Identity under the influence of language allows me to be a part of genres, communities, and social concepts. I can exist inside a community and operate within the textual and verbal boundaries of human’s biggest failure: language. PERFORMANCE ART: Performance art is for the body. Performance is immediate, is internal, and it is intangible in documentation a language body. The ephemeral channel: performance PERFECTED representation of the body and the things that happen to the body. Performance is about the corporeal. It is the corporeality. Brain, the thoughts ephemeral layers of being existing inside of a practice. Precious mediums are surrounding, decadent silence arrives in every body. There are bodies everywhere, performance everything, performer everyone is a performance, we are a performer society of silence. If art is about humans, or perspectives, our cultures, our influences, then our bodies are the vessels of all existence. We, our minds, and our bodies create the entire universe. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE: There is no impossibility. Imagination succeeds over all. It is so important. Imagine the impossible. Exist the impossible. Exist the 34

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impossible. Exist the impossible. Exist the impossible. Exist the possible inside imagination that we can change the world. Dreaming is reality, reality is dreaming. TEXT: Tis is the no rule. It includes a context, a subject, a subtext, and a saying. Words and language, the sounds we are creating and their context; they are a means for creation and expansion. Use language as if it were everything. Text as people, text as air, text as plastic, text as movement. DANCING: Moving to sound, impending the body through the pretenses of liberation. It is transcendent, far more powerful then we will ever know. The leg and the hair on it, a separate movement taking a holding glance. Jump, an ankle for any resource, just impend it. Discotheque bedrooms all are places to transcend, the privacy of inhibitions vanishing. Looking out your window at night while someone sees you dancing. No stop, continue her eyes. Believe yourself let your body, let bodies become trance. Shift consciousness and explore your being. REALITY: It is fluid and tangible. Your mouth becomes a tender ritual of enforcing reality through language. Let us enforce it, reiterate the repulse. Pulse in pulsing a new mind work, a new way of expanding reality and contracting it with performance. Contract your mind with a performance. IMPROVISATION: As a cure to the culprit intention, improvisation is the new presence. All glory, as purity, the new threat of constant thought. Mind as mind, travelling in glory through momentum, moment, and instant instance, free to extend outside of mental periphery. Ghost like an ephemeral, ghost like a decision. It happens. It happens, outside. It happens outside. It happens inside of us. GAY SEX: It is his flesh that took me here. It is he, the him he his body and mind taking me. Our breath, our fluids, symbols of force inside us. Transcendent bodies can not hold. Gay sex as performance art, a dual body of pressure pleasure holding forces inevitably. The bare principal of sexuality, the bare bodies and kissing. LYING: In a truth, we can explore ourselves. In a lie, we can banish our reality. We can dismember truth. Allocate new fiction, relay new false, all else false in the tongue. The tongues used to lie are strong. A lip layer intended to dislocate truth sockets to audience. As a fraction of identity; fractal memory and story. Retelling is lying. Lying defenses the offenses on the fend destroyed. FICTION: As a no truth, as a nothing, as a complete real, situations as a performance piece, surreal in the real, LET IT HAPPEN and control.

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Deceive and explore alternate. Explore alterations of reality, it is a chance of changing. Change in a chance comes for true reality. Fiction is not a lie. It is a truth separated by the physical world and our minds. BODY: THE MOST SIGNIFICANT. THE CENTRAL UNIFICATION. Ultimate device; a language of infinite proportions. Laying, rolling, a shaking sent a shoulder left handed. It moves so completely without a simple most motion. As we can isolate movements, gestures, languages. Appropriating every existence in and around the body. It is our tool to use. It recoils. It fucks up. It blesses. Body interior speaking, bodily as a life-conscious twitch, switch. As all movements, as all movements in repetition as words do (as body words too do). From here we can say anything. From here, you can do anything. From here you can explain, explore, explicit, experience, exercise, extraordinary, extravagant, exterior, ex, ex, ex, ex, ex, exit. LANGUAGE: Not only words, but motions and experiences on two sides of one wall. Utilization of all senses in moving through sounds, emotions, tests, and frivolous awareness. A strong intensity to apathetic impulses. Listening and hearing, observing and trying not to communicate. The body voice as vocal appropriation. The words we use that are not words, and the words we use that are not our own. Touring indefinitely through definition and discovery. COMMUNICATION: As difference pleads you, test what is said and can be, said done with words and languages. Hyper extend text and body language. In fear of incriminating language, do not disassociate. It is a responsibility for every action you do not act. The relentless allowance. Fever in fervor, ah appropriate saying. Be unclear and precise in dialectic, testing the relationships. TEST THE RELATIVE WORD OR MOVEMENT. PEND THE HYPER EXTEND. IMAGINATION: Pure nirvana en universe. Here your freedom reigns in reigns. They ring a real device. Imagine an image imagining the most possible power and it is hidden. It takes a pure discovery, a land of cast ideas. In any form to close your eyes and see. It could break your loose consciousness. It could hold you forever. A link, taken, a body full force, a bore broken (break it). Consider a silent responsibility without response. T h iis s   w ii ll lll bb beee y  y  yooo ou  u  rr r        ee   vv ent uuu a al home, when your body is gone. Imagining is the afterlife. ACCEPTANCE OF ALL THINGS: Everything that happens is correct. Everything can happen. 36

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GAY: As my flesh responds. Empowered alright, the intention of two men historically. The internal eternal forces bonded by body, experience the collision. My own personal god in his underwear. Her him for colors and textures, as most a pattern of power, bravery and union. Holy men by their body. Cultural context on skin layers, above a tissue. Outside sweat, chest hair in completion to my own body and liquids. Then a torrent of thirsted sexuality. Sex in in him him in him in hymn in in him. He is beautiful he says. He is handsome sexually, as my flesh responds. As I do, as he does; two. BOYFRIEND: Deeper. The composition public, many beings, many in lip to hand, lick swallow and bend. Lick swallow and bend ours. As a bed does in performance. I protect he protect me. The us in public pubic. The pelvic enhancement. Ascension our lay, our lay be down across space and time. As a fluxes of personalities rewind us, our pasts and our liquids, our own blood stream and semen, forces into a flight rule. Because I love him. Because I love him. We love our flight rule and soft conversions. It is matter physical again and again and angle again, touching and waiting thinking for him. Performance him, he how he does. Continuum for instance forever solid not see it stopping or laying. positive and pure, hallelujah the power and positivity of pure. SINGING: Voice a transform. Voice a transference. Performance. The letting of voice escape the reigns. Moving through a vibration, imperialist resignations. Imperfect throats pulling a version. Like a character or spoken inversion, the voice is made for you. I have found the voice. I have found the voice in lips and teeth, a tongue purchases a movement with the saliva. Somehow control, the voice is a transformation. TRANSFORMING: These are the alignments of taking time. Each object, humana, and molecular entity will ferment in vivid movement. The relationships are changing. The changing is relational, and all possible. Inside the possibilities, outside the variables. Tending and exploring, taking and repeating, piling and resisting, kicking and whispering, it happens. Touching and thinking, speaking and pleasing, entertaining and disrupting, spinning and dying, creating and pointing, it happens. It happens, transforming, violating space and inviting time.

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Rebecca Mir Sacrificing

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Brandon c Tobin

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Andrew spena DUDELESSNUDE [33], 26 y/o, last here: 03 Mar 2011

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Rebecca Mir Romantically Visiting

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My Gender Cartography Lessons: Part I Joseph Varisco

What do you mean I can never go home again? The roads are flooded? There are ghosts blocking the way? Fires are raging everywhere? In search of a new place. In search of a new me. I can undress in my room and see the brilliance of a feminine line down the small of my back and ass. I can shower in the morning and feel radiance of a goddess. I can crawl under my covers and smell the scent of sweat and sweet. I want them both. Can I have them both? There is this brilliant new dress that reminds me of a photograph of my grandmother dancing and I want to wear it. I want my beard and my eye shadow. I want to feel sultry and safe. My heels make me feel like a fucking gazelle, like I can pike my way up a mountain, beat my chest and pucker cherry tinted lips and lavender glazed eyes and breathe. Breathe the mystery of our organs and our every changing shapes. Breathe the mystery of father son mother brother sister daughter church and tongues, lovers and trials. I am all all these things. Each spiral of sand and quasar, each cycle of moon and menstruation, each birth of flower and death of star. In my jewelry box is my toolbox. My belt has room for both a hammer and lipstick. Fuck me or be fucked or just breathe here with me.

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Erik peterson From the series “Dating in the 90s� spring

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Brandon C Tobin

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Andrew Spena DUDELESSNUDE [27], 34 y/o, Last here: 27 Jan 2011

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Tara preston (based on a photograph by Quinnford + Scout quinnfordandscout.eu) 46

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The Life Almost Lost Bruce Ortiz

The beginning of high school wasn’t actually that bad. I went to a fairly culturally diverse school. My sister attended the same school two years ahead of me, so as a freshman I already had this built-in support system. Since she already had a group of friends, I was able to fit into that crowd, in addition to making my own friends and finding my own way. By the middle of my sophomore year, I began to question my sexuality, a process that really rocked my self-esteem and confidence. And, while I still had the support of my sister and friends during that time, it started to feel more like a curse than a blessing. I could lean on them to try and forget what I was dealing with, but at the same time, I felt I had to hide myself. I felt I had no one that I could fully confide in and that I couldn’t fully explore who I was discovering myself to be. Despite being surrounded by all of these people, I felt I had no one I could really talk to. By the end of my junior year, my family moved, and I had to go to a different high school, one very different from the first. This school was not culturally diverse, and within the first week a decision I made would set the tone for the rest of my time there. I was sitting next to someone who started making fun of another student, making homophobic jabs at him. I don’t know if maybe I was feeling brave at the time or feeling that since I was at a new school I could make a new start or what, but I defended him. And within a day, I was marked as the new gay guy, “the fag.” Even then, I wasn’t all that sure about my sexuality. I was even dating a woman. Regardless, I experienced a lot of bullying from that point on. I got pushed into lockers, got called names, and was generally made to feel like an outcast. It was a really rough time, and all I kept thinking was, “I need to graduate; I need to get out of this school.” I knew I needed to get out of that town and go someplace else where I could be more accepted. I thought college would be the answer. Fast forward to my freshman year of college and a hospital ICU, where I found myself after an attempted overdose—things had clearly not gotten better after leaving high school. Instead, I was in a new environment where I felt I had no support, and I had no coping skills at all. I just wanted to be done with it. I really didn’t know any other way to deal with it. While I was in the hospital, the doctor told my family that they should probably start calling other family members because it looked like I wasn’t going to make it. It looked like I was going to pass away. But, I was given a second chance; I pulled through. It took a long time after that for me to find peace—to make peace with myself, with the issues I was struggling with. It also took me some time to make 48

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peace with my family. It was pretty hard on them. They felt helpless; they didn’t understand why I hadn’t gone to them for support. And yet, I hadn’t really known I could. In those months after I left the hospital, there was a lot of communication with my family. We became a lot more open, sharing thoughts and feelings in a way we hadn’t before. I’m so thankful that I was given this second chance. My family is great. My parents, the people I wasn’t sure would love me if they knew who I really was, are my number one supporters now. It’s been 10 years now, and I have a really wonderful partner who loves me. We’ve been together for more than 5 years and just recently bought a home to share together. We’ve begun talking about having a family of our own, too. My parents love him. My whole family loves him. My partner recently told me a story about my dad. We were at an engagement party for my sister and my dad and my partner were outside together, and my father looked at him and asked, “When are you and my son getting married?” That’s a really remarkable moment, you know? I certainly did not give my father, or my family, enough credit. I just didn’t give them enough credit. Life is so much better now than it was in high school or college. I have a wonderful family and an amazing support system. And, while I went through a lot of struggles, life definitely did get better. I didn’t think it would while I was in high school and college. I felt like nothing could get better—I felt like I was very alone. I’m so glad that I was given that second chance after my suicide attempt, but not everyone’s so lucky. It’s not worth trying it. It’s not worth the attempt. Just go out there, find your support system, find that support system within yourself because life does get better. It’s going to be rough; and you may be surrounded with people who don’t understand you, or you may feel like you’re alone, but you’re going to find that support system. I had that support with me all along. I was just too scared to recognize it. I was blinded by the fear of rejection to give my family the opportunity to get to know me. I wasn’t giving them enough credit and sometimes you have to trust and give people more credit to learn who you are and still love you for you. You have to give yourself credit, too. Trust that even with rejection, you have strength within yourself to pick yourself back up and carry on. You’re going to find the people who love and support you. You’re going to learn how to love and support yourself. And you’re going to live a very happy life. As published in It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living, edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller

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“...I find the community/identity exploration for queers via the internet to be intriguing and remarkable. Speaking from personal experience within my own Chicago community, a composite of folk regionally and across the coasts who have been drawn in and have fused into some kind of innovative wonder. It is full of artistic inspiration, collaboration and a sense of momentum building toward an unknown emancipating destination, which continues to empower production/creation of work. Beyond the creative, there is of course the core of community, which to me is family/affection/intimacy or a sense of brother-sisterhood. We are foundations to one another. We support and perform as muses for one another. I am fascinated with where it will progress. A brilliant culture is being churned in the uncertain times of our current economic/political climate, perhaps we are the slow rumble before the bang.�

The Queer Culture & Social Media Study is a documentary-style project exploring a queer generations relationship to social media and its influence on a sense of community and identity. Visit us at qcsms.tumblr.com or email QueerSocialMediaStudy@gmail.com to find out how you can participate.


editors Editor-in-Chief/Designer Topher McCulloch has never operated a lawnmower. He enjoys drinking champagne and reading Jean Genet. He tries to make something awful every day. Stalk him online: myrthco.com | mugwumpian.tumblr.com msaed.tumblr.com Creative Director/Chef Joseph Varisco is sort of like an otter with a switchblade and eyeshadow. He lives online at deputyjoev.tumblr. com. View his Queer Culture & Social Media Study at qcsms.tumblr.com. He has a cat named Samson. Marketing Ethan currently resides in New York. Goo goo g’ joob.

acknowledgements A special thank you to all the internet friends and real life lovers who have helped out behind the scenes in the creation and promotion of this first issue.

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CONTRIBUTORS Dane Hallmark is a 23 year old who made the big move to Chicago in late September of 2010 from Jacksonville, Florida. Arriving only with two bags, he came to the city to push himself in different areas of his life and to hopefully gain much from the art scene here. Besides working fulltime in the South Loop, he does independent work in graphic design, photography and, if things play out well, he’ll start working with film soon. He creates his work out of his own curiosity with men in the queer community and his curiosity in experimenting with different concepts. He’s excited—and nervous—to see what he will be able to take from this city and how much he will change as a man. danehallmark.tumblr.com Noah Ivey is a whiny little bitch trying to filter the world through tar black glasses. He may never finish school and is content working for less than minimum wage. if you see him on the streets give him a sandwich, he doesn’t eat enough. don’t give him money though, he’ll just blow it on Jack Daniels and DMT. cthulhuceviche.tumblr.com Rebecca Kling is a Chicago-based transgender artist interested in exploring the performance of identity. Her multi-media productions—composed of storytelling, video, movement, playful skips and jumps, enlightening self-discovery, accusatory glances, awkward pauses, and more—question gender, self-expression, and what it means to be at home in one’s own body. Visit her on the web at rebeccakling.com, twitter.com/rebeccakling, and facebook.com/rebeccaklingchicago. Seth Lester had the lovely privilege of living in Chicago for damn near five months during the winter of 2010/2011. If he’s not currently thinking about the science of coffee extraction or riding bicycles, then he is probably asleep or passed out at the local watering hole. He misses the fuck out of the tamale guy, and he is not really a raccoon. americanotogo.com spring

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Rebecca Mir is a Chicagoan by way of Alaska and Maine. When she was too little to walk, she was pulled around on a sled by a German Shepherd called Namer. More of her work can be found on her website: www.rebeccamir.com

Bruce Ortiz lives in Chicago, IL, with his partner and their dog, where he works full-time in the marketing industry and part-time in the creative arts as a professional dancer. He is very humbled to have been invited to participate in the first issue of Chicago IRL and raise awareness of LGBTQ culture and issues. Erik Peterson is a mixed-media artist working globally in the Dada tradition “pointing out banality through startling juxtaposition”* to ignite queer revolution. Shatter heterocentricism. End Capitalism’s strangle-hold on Faggotry. Ban the mini- and micro-miniskirt. Reverse the democratization of couture. Bring abortion back into vogue....*William S. Burroughs (from a review of the work of Genesis P-Orridge) cissitude.tumblr.com | vimeo.com/erikppeterson | filletofginch.blogspot.com saatchionline.com/ErikPPeterson Katia Piza (@katiapiza) freelances in the music industry. She has worked with SXSW, C3 Presents: Lollapalooza, and BMF Media. She is the managing editor and writer of Mezzic, a music website dedicated to interviews with artists, reviews of albums, shows and concert photography. She also is a contributor for Radio Free Chicago. When not freelancing you can find her at your local neighborhood dive bar with a whiskey in hand, making eyes at a boy with a beard. arteffect.tumblr.com

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Five things about Jesus Plaza: He was born in Texas, raised in Florida, resides in Chicago and is temporarily moving to Maine for the summer. He’s a twenty-four year old Scorpio. He loves ice cream, whiskey and karaoke, but not all at once. He can’t grow chest hair. He loves you. jesus--walks.tumblr.com | queveo.tumblr.com Tara Preston would like her bio text to be written by Matt. Please involve something about her cats. Please make it outrageous. “Is she trying to be a huge lesbian or something?” flickr.com/vonpoopton

Aay Preston-Myint is an artist, printmaker, and educator who does collaborative programming with No Coast, Mess Hall, ACRE, and Chances Dances, and edits an online journal called Monsters and Dust. He has exhibited nationally in San Francisco, Minneapolis, New York, and has contributed original writing as well as had multiple reviews of work in the Chicago Reader, New City, Proximity, and AREA. He is currently an MFA candidate in Studio Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Class of 2011. dirtrainbow.net Colin Self is an artist and performer currently living in Brooklyn, New York. He attended The Evergreen State College and graduated in May with his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As a feminine force, Colin Self creates powerful performance dialects for trans-cultural bodies, teaching new techniques for owning sexuality, gender, and identity. As he delivers reified incarnations of pop media, he portrays futures for humanity. His work evocatively activates emotion and body to extend performativity upon his audience, and increases the spectrum for possible future leaders and culture keepers. colinself.tumblr.com

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Daviel Shy is an artist, filmmaker, and storyteller whose films and comics depict bittersweet stories through quiet details, deliberate pacing, and humor. She has written and directed six short films including Exercises in Buoyancy, produced in 2009 with an all female cast and crew. Daviel is currently completing her first graphic novel, Four Girls. davielshy.blogspot.com davielshy.com | vimeo.com/user814352 Andy Siharath was born and raised in the city of Chicago and is currently pursuing a major in photography and Chinese language at DePaul University. He lives with his cat, Willard, in a small studio apartment where he also makes crafts and sews. Check out his personal website at andysiharath.com or find him on tumblr at loveontopknot.tumblr.com. Found as an infant in the middle of a Carolina tobacco field, Andrew Spena is proud to announce he is now reading at grade level. He divides his days between his IRL home in Chicago and The Internet. Scientists estimate Andrew is over 8 feet tall, but there would be no way of knowing for sure. iamsosorry.tumblr.com | dudelessnude.tumblr.com Brandon C Tobin is a Chicago based photographer that enjoys working with sexy subjects in fun colors doing sexy things. His influences are David LaChapelle and Henri Cartier Bresson. Brandon likes to live by the quote, “Don’t ask just shoot.” He does not know where that quote came from. All photos are for sale. lifebythisguy.com | brandonctobin@gmail.com

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