The Queer Issue
Queer Issue 2013
Here at Stranger Queer Issue HQ, we've really been sweating over what to call this thing. We've known for weeks that this Queer Issue was going to be all about apps and internet-y things and how social media has altered/amplified/improved/ruined certain aspects of queer culture. We knew that Dan Savage was writing about how fetish websites have killed leather bars. And that Khaela Maricich was writing about Twitter and how hard it is to be a musician in the age of constant feedback. And that Solomon Georgio was writing about Grindr. And that Sarah Galvin was writing about how certain fantasies can make you feel like a monster until you realize there's a whole online world of people into what you're into and—well, you're just going to have to read that one. Actually, that's a great idea. Stop reading this throat-clearing, frankly unnecessary introduction, and go read her piece right now. You'll eat it up. It's here.
Anyway, the point is that we had a bunch of pieces lined up but we still didn't have a name. We had porn star Conner Habib writing about Scruff as the future of porn, and Jen Kagan writing about a Scruff-like app called Sizzr that's being developed as you read these words, Ray Van Fox and Evan J. Peterson writing about Tumblr, and Eli Sanders writing about the importance of spending time away from the internet. But we didn't have a name for the issue. Like an overall title.
Exciting behind-the-scenes moment: Picture the staff of The Stranger running around (naked—why not?) tossing out ideas for what to call this, coming up with bad headline after bad headline, everyone cringing at each successively worse idea. "Let's Talk About Tech, Baby" and "Boom, Boom, Boom, Let's Go Back to Your Hotspot" were certainly not going to cut it, and the people who proposed them have been fired. "Queer 2.0" was out, too, just for sounding so dated, although someone made a touching case for "Queer 2.0: Electric Boogaloo Back in the Habit the Legend of Curly's Gold." Someone else thought of titling it "The Tech-Savvy At-Risk Youth," since we get so many questions about the tech-savvy at-risk youth and, let's be honest, they're all queer, but considering their at-risk status, we don't like to divulge anything about them, especially their queerness. Then there was "Putting the Queer in Qwerty," which I regret even typing. And then of course there's always the literary-homage approach, like "The Great Grindr" or "The Sun Also Reboots" or "Gone with the Wi-Fi," but, you know, no. And then "Queer Window," like as in Rear Window but... like, with internet windows? Yeah. So you can see the fix we were in. "Virtually Queer" isn't bad—it's certainly better than "Queerdom in the Realm of Bytes and Pixels," as one of the steampunks in the accounting department proposed—but "Virtually Queer: Queer Issue 2013" is pretty redundant. Which is how we ended up with our emoji title:
There are (at least) a couple things missing in this issue: (1) There's nothing in here about surveillance and internet privacy, which is a pretty glaring oversight, given the news lately, and (2) there is nothing in here about the It Gets Better Project, which the guy who shares an office wall with me started and which, more importantly, has probably done more for queer culture than anything else discussed in this issue. But who likes hearing about oversights? I don't!
In closing, there are a number of great things about this Queer Issue, including: (1) the mix of very traditional and super-weird fashion ideas for brides and grooms, drawn entirely from local designers and retailers, selected by Stranger fashion columnist Marti Jonjak, (2) the plentiful Pride calendar, (3) the utter absence of any writing about sports at all, even though an NBA player recently came out of the closet, and (4) the whole page of Kelly O's photos of Solstice Cyclists wearing nothing but body paint, which isn't related to the rest of the issue and isn't even queer, but what the hell, it's nice to look at.
—Christopher Frizzelle, Editor