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ISSUE NO. #
 

Hi, 

A funny thing happened when I wasn’t looking — suddenly it became Fall. I went outside over the weekend and the leaves had started changing. On Sunday it was 80 degrees, but by Monday the high was only 55. Maybe the surprise caught me off guard because, well, I don’t go out much anymore. I keep thinking it’s August and clearly it’s just about October, which doesn’t get less strange or funny to me the more I say it. Sometimes it can feel like I’m the only person still doing quarantine — but then I remember how many duplicate Tweets I see where everyone else complains about seemingly being the only one still doing quarantine — so maybe we are all alone, together.

This week’s letter is a little shorter than usual. More than anything, I feel… nothingness. Stillness. It’s like being in stasis, a permanent pause button, the overwhelming monotony that’s also a constant panic from standing carelessly on a cliff’s edge just waiting to see what happens next. Sometimes you’re up late working on a newsletter while the President of the United States, when asked to denounce a white supremacist group during a national debate, chooses to instead to tell them “Stand Back and Stand By!” You know, small normal things like that.

Ah hell, at least when we next talk it will be damn near Halloween and I’ll so be hopped up on Reese’s Cups, hot black lipstick and stress from the election, that little else will matter. 

Until then, unwrap a piece of Halloween candy and think of me!
Carmen

Bangers
Janelle Monáe in a soldier's jacket yells, with an open mouth, over her shoulder

“Antebellum” Forgot That Black Women Can’t Save the World From Fascism, We Only Must Save Ourselves by Dani Janae

A direct quote: “The one thing Antebellum gets right is the villainy of white women, showcasing how they are just as complicit in the horrors of white supremacy as white men.” The Black queer royal court of Janelle Monáe and Kiersey Clemons deserve better!

Year of Our (Audre) Lorde: September’s Afterimages by Jehan

Jehan’s stitching together of the unexpected parallels between the repeated images and violence of Black death that take over our newsfeeds, alongside the unnatural naturalization those same newsfeeds create out of the West Coast Wildfires, is so needed.

What This Trans Survivor Wants J.K. Rowling to Know by Xoai Pham

The kinds of stories that are told by us and about us shape our identities and the possibilities for who we may become. “This is the story I want all of us to focus on: that trans people have been shamans, priestesses, teachers, healers, and cultural leaders for generations. And we still are.” 

Legend of Korra: A Flawed Show for A Flawed World by Himani Gupta

In the follow-up to Avatar: The Last Airbender, Himani writes about the joy and difficulty of watching a young bisexual woman as the avatar, trying her best to save her fictional Asian-inspired world from villains.

Roses by Legacy Russell

A Black father and his daughter standing in the summer heat eating ice cream is a mob.” Ever read something and spontaneously forget how to breathe? That’s what Legacy Russell’s poetic memoir on the scare tactics of the FBI did for Carmen. Also congrats to Legacy on the release of her her hotly anticipated book Glitch Feminism, a rumination on the “liberation that can be found within the fissures between gender, technology, and the body it creates.”
While We're Here

💐Let’s Give Our Flowers to Whembly Sewell

She was recently named the Editor-in-Chief of Them. Whembly joins us as one of the few queer women of color to lead a major LGBTQ+ publication/brand.

📖Queer Arabs Taking Up Space: An Interview With Zaina Arafat by Sarah Yanni

A conversation with Zaina Arafat on her book You Exist Too Much, plus the ambiguity around sexuality and mental health in Arab culture, and being first generation.

👋You Need Help: Why Do I Keep Crushing on Straight White Guys? by KaeLyn Rich

Just some loving bi Asian-to-Asian advice on the uncomfortable dynamic between white men and their Asian partners.

Note To Self
six cupcakes decorated as vulvas, with pink and brown labia and pearl clitorises
 
Text someone a heart emoji today. See what happens next!
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