When first asked to articulate the meaning of queer joy, many of us struggled to find the language. Acknowledging both the joyful bits, as well as the difficult bits, felt most salient. Right away, we recognized the nuances – the wonderful, the awkward, the sometimes painful. Revisiting specific moments of queer joy helped make the notion a bit more tangible. In doing so, stories that perhaps felt too embarrassing to share before were revisited with a sense of endearment, allowing for a certain degree of rawness and transparency. While some of us may have had a better grasp on those joyful bits, this approach allowed all of us to identify instances that do in fact stand out.
This collaborative book was created to honor our unique journeys of realizing, and coming into, our queerness (that also speaks to something larger – something more collective). The process of uncovering these moments is represented throughout these pages. As the reader turns semi-transparent sheets of seemingly illegible handwritten notes, doodles, and partially-outlined figures, each of our experiences are made visible in the form of collage – collages that are colorful, bold, and fully in focus.
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Taylor Chamberlain, Danie Muriello, Donald Dyson, Nic Westrate, Sam Gustavson
Moments of Embarrassment & Endearment – Growing Pains & Joy