Anonymous says “growing up in Georgia in a wonderful, loving family she felt supported and safe. Although she never felt powerless, it took her until she was in her thirties to know what it felt like to be powerful. She has struggled with merging her professional identity, in a misogynistic and sexualized work environment, with her strong feminist perspective. She hopes that by sharing her story she can help break down the barriers between us and them, between victims and survivors, and between the people who write the stories and the people who read them.”
Rousse Arielle is a queer stone-femme who currently lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where Arielle represents individuals on state and federal death row in their appeals process. Before moving to Missouri, Arielle spent eight years in Boston, where she attended law school. During that time, Arielle was a co-founding advocate of the Massachusetts Transgender Legal Advocates, a joint project of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, TransCEND, and the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, in which Arielle primarily focused on prisoners’ rights advocacy. After experiencing a transphobic and pro-prosecution environment while working at a rape crisis center, Arielle turned to criminal (in)justice work and prison abolition activism. As a student attorney, Arielle defended individuals against criminal charges in the Boston criminal courts and has also volunteered with the Center for Death Penalty Litigation and the Orleans Public Defender.
Samantha Barrick is a poet, performer, writer and educator. She teaches Medical Humanities at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at The City College of New York, and in the Program of Narrative Medicine at Columbia University. She has facilitated creative resilience and writing workshops with survivors of sexual assault, and has been known to ride her motorcycle around the country sharing her poems in all kinds of venues; big, small, loud, silent, fabulous and awkward. She really likes performing with musicians and other kinds of artists. She is the author of GRIT and tender membrane (Plan B Press), Jelly (a chapbook, Tiger/ Monkey Alliance), and Chap (self published). Her poetry, prose, reviews and interviews have been published in The Ledge Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia City Paper, Off Our Backs, Avalon Magazine, Lesbian Nation, Feminist Review, Edible Vineyard, Manorborn, Moonstone’s Poetry Ink Anthology and Helmet Hair. She has been included in two Uphook Press Anthologies: “you say. say.” and “Hell Strung and Crooked. She lives in New York City and Oak Bluffs, Massachussetts.
Xiomara Castro is a queer disabled Afro-Nuyorican poet, an aspiring social worker, a writer, a trauma survivor, and a recent Smith College graduate. She has been writing poetry for over fifteen years, and in 2006 she began writing to live; she allowed her writing to become her path to healing, self-expression and integration. She seeks to heal herself and her community through her writing, education and community work. In taking part in this anthology, she hopes to share her experience and give her voice agency in the larger conversation about queer lives, race, sexuality, and sexual violence. This anthology will feature her first publication.
Chelsey Clammer is the 2016 winner of the Red Hen Press Nonfiction Manuscript Award for her creative thesis, Circadian. She is a Pushcart Prize-nominated essayist who has been published in The Rumpus, Essay Daily, The Water~Stone Review and Black Warrior Review, among many others. She is the Essays Editor for The Nervous Breakdown and Founding Editor of www.insideoutediting.com. Her first collection of essays, BodyHome, was released in 2015. Her second collection, There Is Nothing Else to See Here, is forthcoming from The Lit Pub. Clammer is currently enrolled in the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA program. You can read more of her writing here.
Emilee Coulter-Thompson, MSW, RYT joined the movement to end sexual and domestic violence in 1996 and came out as queer shortly after. She co-created a full-day advocate training on LBGT domestic and sexual violence with the Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence; spearheaded a LGBTIQQ sexual violence primary prevention program in Eugene, Oregon; and contributed to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s LGBTQ Guide for Transformative Prevention Programming. Currently she works in public health, practices yoga, and lives with her partner and two children in Portland, Oregon.
Sandra Dickson is a bisexual Pakeha feminist cis woman of Canadian and Scottish descent living in beautiful Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. For more than two decades, she has been actively involved in both the queer community, including the Wellington Bisexual Women’s Group, London-based Outrage and Stonewall, and feminist movements to end male violence against women. Sandra’s voluntary and paid work has included advocacy for sexual violence services, policy and education programme development for Women’s Refuge for women and children experiencing domestic violence, working in services for women inabusive same-sex relationships in the UK, and developing policy and protocol guidelines for state agencies and health providers to respond to intimate partner violence. Sandra also helped launch twenty-four hour services for migrant women trafficked into the sex industry in the London-based POPPY Project. Sandra is currently a member of the Roundtable on Violence Against Women, and works in a national sexual violence prevention role for tauiwi communities in Aotearoa New Zealand for Te Ohaaki a Hine – National Network of Ending Sexual Violence Together. She volunteers at her local Women's Refuge, which has just begun to develop services for queer people experiencing intimate partner violence. She blogs as LudditeJourno on feminist site The Hand Mirror.
Chloe Dzubilo was an artist and AIDS and transgender activist. Chloe studied art at the Parsons School of Design and received an associate degree in Gender Studies from the City University of New York City College 1999. A native of Connecticut, Chloe moved to New York in 1982 where she briefly worked at Studio 54. She soon became the ad director at the downtown art magazine the East Village Eye just when the neighborhood's art scene began to explode. In the '90s, she was an icon of downtown nightlife. She wrote plays for and performed with the Blacklips Performance Cult at the Pyramid club and edited the group's zine, Leif Sux. She was the lead singer and songwriter for the punk-rock band the Transisters, who played at CBGB's, Squeeze Box at Don Hill's and other trendsetting hubs of downtown culture. Chloe was a muse for designers Marc Jacobs, Alexis Bittar and Patricia Field and art photographers Nan Goldin, Alice O'Malley, and Tanyth Berkeley. She modeled for fashion photographers David Armstrong, Steven Klein, and Michael Sharky. She was diagnosed with HIV in 1987 when her partner of nine years, Pyramid Club founder Bobby Bradley, died of AIDS. Since her diagnosis, Chloe advocated for civil rights, adequate health care and dignity for people living with HIV/AIDS, transgendered people and drug users. A longtime volunteer for the LGBT Community Center's groundbreaking Gender Identity Project, she served on its transgender HIV prevention team conducting prevention outreach in bars, nightclubs and on strolls. She spoke at national and international conferences, in video Public Service Announcements and training workshops for health care and mental health providers. Chloe was involved with the political action group the Transsexual Menace and went on to direct one of the first federally funded HIV prevention program for transgender sex workers in 1997. In 2001, Chloe founded the Equi-Aid Project, a Manhattan-based riding program that specifically targets children who are infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS as well as other at-risk youth. In September 2002, Chloe Dzubilo became the first transgendered person on the cover ofPOZ, a magazine for the HIV/AIDS community. She graced the magazine's cover two more times. In 2003, Chloe was appointed to the HIV and Human Service Planning Council of New York, an advisory body composed of people living with HIV/AIDS, service providers, and government representatives, charged with ensuring that "people living with HIV have access to appropriate, quality services across the continuum of care, resulting in the best possible health and quality of life.
River Willow Fagan is a queer and genderqueer writer living in Portland, Oregon. Their work has appeared in The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2011 and is in the anthology Dear Sister. They would love to hear from you; send notes to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow their ongoing healing journey here.
Avory Faucette is a radical queer transgender feminist activist and writer. Zie writes at the blog Radically Queer and runs QueerFeminism.com, as well as having been published in xoJane, the Frisky, Ms. Magazine Online, and other publications. Hir work focuses on the intersection of identity and activism, with a particular focus on transgender issues, non-binary gender, and sexuality. Zie teaches audiences of all experience levels to rethink sexuality, consider the gender frame, and embrace universal access principles in organizing. Avory is also an award-winning international human rights activist with a law degree from the University of Iowa.
Reina Gossett lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and believes creativity and imagination are vital in movements for self determination. She is a trans activist and artist blogging at reinagossett.comReina’s writing has been featured in Barnard College’s The Scholar & Feminist Online, as well as Captive Genders: Trans Embodiement & The Prison Industrial Complex, Post Post Script Press and Randy Magazine.
Ida Hammer, MSW, is a writer and lifelong activist living in New York City working with others in the women's, trans, and LGBQ communities for social change. Her work centers on the well-being of trans women. She started the Trans Women's Anti-Violence Project as a trans feminist initiative to address violence and oppression experienced by trans women. She is a proud dyke-identified trans woman, and an organizer for the New York City Dyke March.
Mikaya Heart is an award-winning author who grew up on Scotland. She has several books in print, on subjects as varied as shamanism, lesbianism, orgasm, sports, and travel; her memoir was described as "soul-refreshment of the highest order" in Edge Magazine. Although based in northern California where she built her own house out of recycled lumber, she now travels constantly, going where she is called and seeking remote places where she can camp alone in natural surroundings. She leads shamanic journeys, facilitating work and play that enable individuals to access what she calls the vastness of being, which is about learning to operate from a place of trust rather than fear. She is always delighted when her clients access that place of light and truth, and she is very excited about the future of this wonderful planet. Her favorite pastime is kitesurfing, which is an awesome dance with water and wind. For more information, see here.
Kari Krome is an American self-taught writer, vocalist, spoken word artist, and conceptual producer. She signed her first publishing contract at fourteen, co-founding and writing songs for the all-girl rock band The Runaways. Her work has been featured and acknowledged in the following publications and media: Back Door Man, Ben is Dead, Bomp, Circus, Citysearch.com, Crawdaddy, Creem, Fizz, Flaunt, In Touch for Men, L.A. Weekly, Mercury Arts Center press, Mojo, Nerve, NME, Punk, Rattler press, Read, Rolling Stone, Sounds, Rock She Wrote by Ann Powers and Evelyn McDonell, Ripped: T-Shirts from the Underground edited by Cesar Padilla, The Great Rock Discography by Martin Strong, The Virgin Encyclopedia of 70's Music, Visual Radio.com, and Voices of the Angels on Freeway records. She is also featured in the book Queens of Noise: The Real Story of The Runaways by Evelyn McDonnell. She is currently writing, recording, and freelance reporting in Los Angeles, California.
Jen LaBarbera is a queer brown mixed/ambiguously-ethnic tomboy femme living with her partner, their dog, and their two cats. She is an ex-pat of the progressive political nonprofit world, and has settled into a post-organizer career as a librarian and archivist for feminist and queer archives. Jen has been involved in some kind of activism since third grade and fell happily in love with the pro-choice, queer, and anti-violence movements in high school. She grew up in rural western New York, developed her skills as an organizer/rabble-rouser in the midwestern/mountain-west states of South Dakota, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado, found love in the Rocky Mountains, and found a working balance between home and wanderlust in California.
Keiko Lane is a Japanese American poet, essayist, and psychotherapist. In addition to her literary writing, which has been published in journals and anthologies, she also writes about the intersections of queer culture, oppression resistance, and liberation psychology. She is currently a psychotherapist in Berkeley, California with a private practice specializing in work with queers of all genders, artists, activists, academics, queer and genderqueer parents and prospective parents, asylum seekers, and other clients self-identified as post-colonial. Keiko also teaches graduate and post-graduate psychotherapy courses on queer and multicultural psychotherapies, the psychodynamics of social justice, and the embodied literature of exile.
Sassafras Lowrey got hir start writing as a punk zinester in Portland, Oregon. Ze is the editor of the two time American Library Association honored & Lambda Literary Finalist Kicked Out anthology, and Leather Ever After. Hir debut novel Roving Pack (www.RovingPack.com) was honored by the American Library Association and chronicles the underground lives of gender-radical queer youth searching for identity, community, and belonging. Sassafras has contributed to numerous anthologies and publications, and ze believes storytelling is essential in the creation of social change. Ze is the 2013 winner of the Lambda Literary Foundation's Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award. Sassafras lives and writes in Brooklyn with hir partner, two dogs of dramatically different sizes, and two bossy cats.
Pam Mack is a professor, caregiver for a husband with Parkinson’s, and mother of two college students. She is active in an open and affirming church and is thinking these days about feminism and caregiving.
Scott Merillat lives in Oakland California. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of San Francisco. He has a wide variety of interests that include LGBT literature and film, journaling, spirituality, and same-sex dancing.
Darnell L. Moore is a writer and activist who lives in Brooklyn, NY. He is a co-managing editor of The Feminist Wire and co-founder of YOU Belong. His writings have appeared in various media and scholarly outlets.
Katherine Scott Nelson is a fiction writer living in Illinois. Although hir essay addresses a time in hir life when ze identified as, and was generally read as, a femme lesbian, ze currently identifies as pansexual and as a non-binary transgender person. Nelson's novella "Have You Seen Me" was a Lambda Literary Awards finalist, and hir short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Whiskey Island, Confrontation magazine, Fiction at Work, and The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard. An earlier version of "My Justice is Her Justice" appeared in make/shift.
Nitika is a South Asian femme and foodie. She writes from spirit, believes in magic, and dreams her way into truth and beauty. Born in India and raised in Kuwait, she has lived in the United States for thirteen long years. Home continues to be dispersed among hearts.
Jennifer Patterson is a writer, editor, herbalist and creative. Exploring bodies, trauma and loss, her writing was included in The Survivors Project: Telling the Truth About Life After Sexual Abuse, on The Feminist Wire, in OCHO: A Journal of Queer Arts and The Outrider Review. Jennifer is also in grad program at Goddard College focusing on trauma, queer communities, healing, craft, pleasure and pain.
Caroline Picker is an acupuncture student, writer, and organizer working for migrant justice in Phoenix, Arizona. She's a radical queer femme, an antizionist Jew, a fat, white, anti-racist fighter, a lover of babies, sometimes a poet. She believes our collective liberation is bound in how we support people, as individuals, as communities, and as movements. She writes about healing justice and other things here.
Interdisciplinary artist Michelley QueenofQueens was raised by a bedazzled brood of drag queens and dandies in the Northeast corner of the United States. Besieged at an early age by endless trips to the “house where George Washington slept”, Michelley retained an indoctrinated revolutionary streak that is evident in both her writing and her visual art. “In a world where the teeth of relativism bite down diurnally on the testicles of culture, artistic relevance is a platitude of poppycock,” contends QueenofQueens. Despite this sentiment, QueenofQueens is compelled to continuously create in various mediums. QueenofQueens’ written work has been published online and in print, including Motley Queer.com, Next Magazine, and the zine culture anthology, The Girl’s Guide to Taking Over the World. Michelley, a self-identified queer femme who lives near Tampa because she believes that the state of Florida is the strangest place on the planet.
billie rain is a disabled writer, activist, and filmmaker. Years of chronic illness and a rare tumor condition have given hir an amazing sense of groundedness, connection, and self-advocacy that fuel hir passion to bring truth, in all its pain and glory, to audiences everywhere.
Peri L. Rainbow is a noted author, clinician, and educator with over twenty years of experience in her field. Recognized for her treatment of posttraumatic stress, safety, and diversity, Peri has been a member of the faculty of the State University of New York, since 1991 teaching Gender and Sexuality Studies and Multicultural Education. Peri offers private counseling, education, consultation, mediation, and marriage officiating at Family Traditions, a Center for Learning, Healing, and Celebrating in Stone Ridge, NY. Peri’s most recent publications include "Making Sense of the Experience of Incest Survivors" which appears in Women: Images and Realities, A Multicultural Anthology, McGraw Hill, 2012, “Reflections on Anger as a Political Tool; Advancing the Struggle for LGBTQ Rights” in Jewish Currents, Summer, 2012, and “A Keeper” in 2 Marriage, Jewish Currents Summer Supplement, 2013. She is co-author of The Trauma Safety Drop-In Group, A Clinical Model of Group Treatment for Survivors of Trauma (NYSOMH 1998). Peri draws upon her professional expertise and her own life experience as a wife, mother, and lesbian, in offering a safe place to learn about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals; a population whose quality of life is significantly affected by the cultural competence of their caregivers.
Angie River is an educator, activist, and performance artist. If asked to define herself, Angie would say she is a queer, disabled, glitter-obsessed, body-loving, craft-doing, community-seeking, deep-thinking person. Angie performs in and produces shows in various genres including spoken word, performance art, and burlesque under the production name ‘Rebels on Stage.' Angie currently is in the final semester of a graduate degree in Transformative Language Arts, in which she is focusing on how we can use the story-telling power of performance to work through past hurt, overcome shame, and write ourselves new futures.
Clay Muwin River considers themself from many places; Maine, Philly and now small pockets of the North West. Clay is a mixed media artist, performer and poet. Clay’s artistic journey first began during their early twenties with small paintings of feminism and tucked away radical poems. It took the death of their grandmother, the health of their mother and the transition of their gender before their voice had become a catalyst for creativity and their expanding art forms. Clay has always felt a strong connection to slam-poetry, gender fuckery and combating racism, which all remain strong components in their work today. Their identity as a transgender, queer, Passamaquoddy Native American strongly influences their work; they can’t see their identity being separated from the work they put out into the world. Clay’s performances can be followed in Seattle and Portland via Facebook, as well as in published works through zines: Anarchist Daughter, Unraveling From the Inside, and Every Fire Has a Story. Clay’s poetry has been published in Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art, and Thought.
Bushra Rehman's first novel Corona, a dark comedy about being South Asian American, was noted by Poets & Writers in 2013’s Best Debut Fiction list, featured in the LA Review of Books as a work of radical South-Asian American Literature. Rehman’s first YA novel will be released by Tor/Macmillan in 2017. Rehman co-edited the anthology Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism, one of Ms. Magazine’s “100 Best Non-Fiction Books of All Time.”
Giselle Renarde is a queer Canadian, avid volunteer, contributor to more than 100 short story anthologies, and award-winning author of erotic books such as Anonymous, Nanny State, and My Mistress' Thighs. Renarde lives across from a park with two bilingual cats who sleep on her head.
E.F. Schraeder's creative work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Haz Mat Review, Five Poetry, Clare Literary Journal, Lavender Review, Corvus Magazine, Kicked Out, and others, as well as in the poetry chapbook, The Hunger Tree. Among other things, Schraeder studied literature and feminist philosophies in graduate school and is now more interested in keeping a house full of rescued cats and dogs happy. Schraeder works and volunteers in the nonprofit sector, mostly in development and other behind the scenes acts of magic.
Sinclair Sexsmith is an erotic coach, teacher, and writer. They produce Sugarbutch Chronicles at sugarbutch.net, full of dirty stories, essays, advice, and journal entries. They travel frequently to lead workshops, and see clients one-on-one to explore identity puzzles and sexual experiments. Sinclair’s work is published in more than twenty anthologies, and they edited Best Lesbian Erotica 2012 and Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica. They are an expert on strap-on technologies, feminist Dominant, and a classically trained poet.
Sean Shannon is the former President and webmistress of Spectrum, the University of Toledo’s LGBT student group. Her novel The Prostitutes of Lake Wobegon was shortlisted for the 2012 Dundee International Book Prize and a quarterfinalist for the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. She teaches English at Owens Community College and also works as a freelance writer.
Aishah Shahidah Simmons is a Black feminist lesbian filmmaker, writer, international lecturer, and activist. An incest and rape survivor, Aishah is the producer, writer, and director of the Ford Foundation-funded, internationally acclaimed, award-winning film NO! The Rape Documentary. NO! explores the international atrocity of heterosexual rape and other forms of sexual assault through the first person testimonies, scholarship, spirituality, activism and cultural work of African-Americans. Subtitled in Spanish, French, and Portuguese, NO! also explores how rape is used as a weapon of homophobia. She credits her 12-year practice of Vipassana Meditation as one of the non-negotiable tools that support her work on gender-based violence issues. She presently teaches in the Women’s Studies and LGBT Studies programs at Temple University, and was both a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago and an Erma O’Brien Distinguished Guest Professor at Scripps College. An assosciate editor of the online magazine The Feminist Wire, Aishah’s cultural work and activism have been documented extensively in a wide range of media outlets including The Root, Crisis, Forbes, Left of Black, In These Times, Ms., Alternet, ColorLines, The Philadelphia Weekly, National Public Radio (NPR), Pacifica Radio Network, and Black Entertainment Television (BET). You can follow her on twitter @Afrolez and her website.
Amita Swadhin is an educator, storyteller, and activist living in Los Angeles, where she serves as the Executive Director of Peer Health Exchange. She recently conceived of the theater project and documentary Secret Survivors, featuring her and other survivors of child sexual abuse telling their stories. In her spare time, she enjoys co-hosting Flip the Script on KPFK radio, writing and performing poetry and creative nonfiction, playing with her pitbull, Ginkgo, and building interdependence with other QTPOC organizers.
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is most recently the author of a memoir, The End of San Francisco (City Lights 2013). She is also the author of two novels, most recently So Many Ways to Sleep Badly (City Lights 2008), and the editor of five nonfiction anthologies, most recently Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform (AK Press 2012). With Gina Carducci, Mattilda made a short experimental film based on “All That Sheltering Emptiness,” released in 2010. Dangerous Families: Queer Writing on Surviving (Haworth Press 2004; currently published by Routledge) is one of Mattilda's earlier anthologies that you might like, although it is now somewhat difficult to obtain. In 2012, Mattilda moved to Seattle, and hopefully by the time you read this she will still love it. Always feel free to say hi.