The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet.--Lord Chesterfield

I stumbled across Lord Chesterfield's thoughts on the closet as I was flipping through The International Thesaurus of Quotations. I'm not exactly sure who Lord Chesterfield was, but way back in 1746 the lord advised his only son to come out of the closet. Getting out there and living a little, according to Lord Chesterfield, was the only way to get an education. This sentiment seems like an appropriate opener for The Stranger's 2002 Queer Issue, "What We Know Now...."

We asked more than a dozen queer writers and artists to answer this question: "What do I know now about ________ that I didn't know then?" They chose topics ranging from aging to AIDS, from bars to babies. In this issue, queer writers speak from experience about giving head, getting their tits cut off, and getting elected.

Experience is the best teacher, as Lord Chesterfield pointed out more than 250 years ago. And in this issue of The Stranger, queer writers share the worldly knowledge that their unique experiences helped them to acquire.--Dan Savage

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