Who we are is how we speak up.

Editor’s note by Erin Mullikin

I do not know all of the ways in which we define queerness. It seems to me that there are innumerable avenues to create a definition for one’s self, and by our very nature, also seek to disrupt that definition, as well as how we are defined by others. Jody Chan, in her poem, “not heaven, not ordinary,” writes, “we belong to sweat.” Mark Anthony Cayanan claims, “As final in form as a seizure.” Oscar Cuevas says, “Other times I flew in dreams—not that I dreamt I was flying but that I was flying while I dreamt.” It seems to follow then that queerness is a shaking and extraordinary part of who we are — that to be queer is not to simply be othered; rather, it is to create your own landscape, your own weather, your own climate. 

In Edition 12: Queer Climates, we were looking for queer voices who could create the kind of choral arrangement that comes from some other place. Maybe somewhere far, far above this temporal plane, and yet trumpeting from the deepest places in ourselves. I wanted to write a long and winding letter for this issue. I tried. But the truth is that as much as I could write about in an introduction, it could never compare to the beauty and joy of reading and hearing these voices for yourself. After all, queerness is also about the freedom to speak for yourself. 

All hail, all queer.