I Love You Queerly

It’s the same thing every Valentine’s Day. I have no doubt I’ll see it out again in full force this year on facebook. You know what I’m talking about. Status after status complaining about the awfulness of Valentine’s Day. It almost feels like lamenting how much February 14th has become a “Hallmark Holiday” has become, well, a hallmark of the holiday.

And I get it, you know? Valentine’s Day makes people feel curmudgeonly for tons of reasons. It’s commercialized, it makes single people feel anxiety surrounding their relationship status, but for me, the most lamentable thing about Valentine’s Day is that is takes something so profound and awesome as love and reduces it to a collection of symbols and empty gestures.

I don’t even like Valentine’s Day.

But I LOVE love.

Love is so great, you guys. And sometimes it sucks. It does a lot of things. It colors in the bits of your world. It gives your stomach something to do somersaults about when you sit at your desk on what would otherwise be an ordinary day. It drives you to ACT and do crazy things you would have never seen yourself doing before, but right now it just feels so right so you do them. It has you checking your phone more than you know is healthy. It reminds you to call your mom. It makes you say beautiful things and stupid things and struggle to say ANYthing that accurately describes the scary, awesome, wonderful tempest of ineffable feelings swirling inside of you. Love does so many things in so many ways for so many different types of people.

Love is so much better than a red plushy heart.

So, let’s reclaim the holiday by sharing our unique expressions of love. Let’s use our own voices to talk about the love we know and change the conversation this Valentine’s Day.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

I’m inviting you to submit to a new zine called I Love You Queerly that celebrates queer expressions of love. In this case, “queer” isn’t being used just in terms of sexuality. It means any way you express love outside of the mainstream, outside of the romantic love narratives that society promotes and celebrates. Let’s talk about love and how it occurs for you, not them. This is our time to celebrate.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* 

WHAT TO SUBMIT?

Anything you want. Just like with queer love, there should be no limits to structures you have to stuff your expression into. You can submit art, collage, poetry, doodles, a crossword puzzle, your own queer love lexicon, ANYTHING, just express yourself. You can talk about your first love or your hardest heartbreak, the silly or the sappy, the sexy and the sad, love as eros or love as agape. How does love occur for you right now? Show us. Don’t be afraid to love outside the lines.

The only requirements for submissions are as follows:

– Pages will be 8.5 x 5.5 inches, so please express yourself accordingly. The zine will be bound vertically but you can make something horizontal if preferred.

– If you want to do something that spans across two pages, that’s awesome, let me know!

– You can send me multiple submissions! That is totally okay and awesome and it’s exciting that you have so much to share.

– Let me know if you want your name tied to your page, if you want your name in the zine but not tied to your specific submission, or if you want to be completely anonymous. It’s all cool.

Submissions due MONDAY **February 3st, 2014**!!! Scan your page and email it to moniquedanser@gmail.com.

What happens then? More spreading the love. I’ll be printing, binding and then selling the zines starting on Valentine’s Day (though they’ll be available electronically too!) and then donating the proceeds to SAGE, a charity for the Services and Advocacy of GLBT Elders. In the spirit of spreading the love, these donations will help to support those who paved the way for us to be able to love outside of the mainstream, however that may occur for us.

If you’re interested, please comment or message me so I can get an idea of how many people want to participate. I hope you’ll join me this Valentine’s Day in changing the conversation and celebrating love in it’s many diverse forms and expressions. Also, if you have friends you think may be interested in getting involved, please pass this on! The more the merrier!

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have more ideas for the project, want to lend a hand in another way or have an issue I haven’t addressed. This project is collaborative so your input and insights are always appreciated.

Love, Monique

Advertisements

Words for the Internet

Sup fuckers?

It’s been quite the year, hasn’t it? 2012 ended with me fulfilling the Mayan prophecy and coming out of the closet, but it was 2013 that ended up being the most profoundly transformative year of my life. One of my goals for the last year was to start blogging again, but that never came to fruition, mostly because I couldn’t find a structure to blog around. Blogging about myself just felt entirely too self-indulgent.

Then I realized I’m like one of the most self-indulgent people I know, so look at this, I’m typing in a blog now!

Some of you may remember my old blog, the award-winning — no, literally, I’m not just being an asshat — The Cycling Dutchman, where I chronicled by travels through the Netherlands (thecyclingdutchman.tumblr.com). This new blog will be nothing like that. Mostly because I don’t have time to gallivant around fairytale cities on my green bike and discover hidden food movements and have prostitutes meow at me and meet my personal literary heroes in a bunker underneath a bridge on the Singel canal.

I have a full time job. I spend most of my time indoors. So I have no idea what this is going to be. Much like the rest of my life, starting from this point. Hey, wouldya look at that? THEMES. My blog already has themes. Wow, this is really shaping up.

So, to overcome my anxieties surrounding this completely self-indulgent venture, I’ve decided compile a list of

10 THINGS I DID IN 2013 THAT WERE MORE INDULGENT THAN STARTING A BLOG

1. DOWNLOADED AN APP FOR “CASUAL GAMING”. This game requires absolutely no skills. I click on a dinosaur once every few hours and it gives me fake money and I derive satisfaction from that. It’s TERRIFYING. I swear I’m going to delete it soon. Right after I level up my Anklyosaur again.

2. TOOK A SELFIE. But only after cleverly engineering a reason to take that selfie. I still haven’t been able to work up the courage to take a selfie for just no reason. That’s some 2015 shit.

3. WATCHED THREE SEASONS OF THE SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL. Why?! Why did I spend so many hours of 2013 following the misadventures of the lady “Belle du Jour” (gag).  Coming off a split between Rose Tyler and the Doctor (as in a split between parallel universes), I guess I was just looking to get my Billie Piper fix somewhere else. But three seasons?! I still haven’t started The Wire. I still haven’t gotten around to watching the final season of Breaking Bad. But I did watch for three fucking seasons of this mindless swill. I just don’t know why I stuck around for so long.

Oh.

Right.

4. LIKED SOMETHING ON FACEBOOK WITH THE SOLE INTENT OF SUBLIMINALLY TELLING A PERSON “HEY, WE SHOULD GET IT ON”.  Sup.

5. READ LIKE 100 FUCKING LISTICLES. I don’t know why. I never sought them out. They just found their way to me. And I read them ALL. The clincher was that there was no reason for me to read them all because they were basically all the same. They all had that one gif of Kristen Wiig from Bridesmaids in it. They all left me feeling empty and unsatisfied. And it was ALL MY FAULT. 2014, NO MORE.

6. MADE SOMETHING ABOUT ME THAT WASN’T ABOUT ME. Ohhhh shit, y’all. I just dropped a truth bomb right in the middle of this fucking list and there’s nothing you can do about it. Sit right here for a minute and reflect on this shit with me for a bit. Let’s grow as people together. Damn, that was nice. I feel better. Okay, moving on.

7. SPENT ALL DAY IN BED. No, I didn’t go outside today. But I DID set up a function for my phone to text me the weather every morning. So I know what it’s like out there.

8. ONLINE SHOPPING. Did you know you can buy anything online? I did not. UNTIL 2013. Then my life changed. I should also clarify that this is not a list of things I plan on giving up for 2014 because I just bought the cutest sweater yesterday on asos like heeeeyyyy

9. ORDERED TAKEOUT WHEN I HAD PERFECTLY GOOD FOOD IN THE KITCHEN. Some days I just don’t want to roast a squash. Some days I want someone to make me a curry and then deliver it right to my face and then have to watch me paw through my wallet for cash while I stand in my foyer in no shoes and that gigantic tshirt I got in Lake Tahoe 8 years ago with the massive hole in the arm pit. Some days are most days.

10. WATCHED INNUMERABLE BAD ROMANTIC COMEDIES. Now that I think about it, I’ve actually watched an inexcusable amount of romantic comedies for someone of my age and discriminating taste. I can’t help it, though. I’m just drawn to them. I love to criticize them, perhaps in an “oh, that would never, ever happen!” sort of way, mostly to excuse myself from the lingering fear that I’m going to end up as a 30-something editor at an advertising agency that looks over slides for “that shoot” with her cowokers and laments the dating scene “in the big city” while my sassy confidante tells me that I’ll “never find love because I’m married to my job”.  What was I saying about watching a lot of romcoms?

I watched this in 2013 and now my Netflix likes to taunt me by insisting I like “wedding movies”.

Well, good, I feel better. Do you? I don’t really care. This is my blog, after all. Now get out.