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Love + Pride: LGBTQIA+ Issue 2021

Pride Issue 2021 Cover.png

From the Editors

June is LGBTQIA+ Pride Month. With that comes not only the celebration of the diversity of our community, but commemoration of those who came before us, helping to pave the way for equality and, most importantly, the chance to love freely and openly. This issue explores many different takes on what that means to different people, whether they are transgender, lesbian, gay, or asexual.


Stephen Foster Smith delves into exploring being black and queer in his shimmering prose entitled “Molasses Men Dance Wildly Under Flamingo Suns.” He writes, “When molasses men before you have stood under warped and wefted caps of hair, or have collapsed upon their knees, ankles, and thighs on the fourth downbeat in a YMCA, you must realize…that those same men and even droves before them have forced the lock on spaces in which they weren’t allowed, from which they ran with their lives clutched in their fists and their eyes fixed on far-away safety before them so that you can perform however you wish in inhospitable, intolerable spaces, too.”


Brooklyn Quallen’s fiction short tells the story of a young teen who takes a ferris wheel ride with her crush to share a secret—and a stolen kiss. Chad Lutz’s poetry explores the perspective of being asexual in “beautiful gender-normative courting” and the toll that takes on the usual relationship conventions. In their work “Haircut,” Matthew Lily Vogel, a nonbinary half-Vietnamese writer, shares how something as simple as a haircut can be not so simple after all.


There is such power in these words backed by each writer’s lived experiences, opening the closet door to shed light on the depths of pain and love many in the LGBTQIA+ community go through in our lives. I encourage you to read each piece, take a step into their world, and let your heart be opened.

Aaron Drake and the Editorial Team


Frances Coles, Story of Oranges

Kara Dombrowski, Saved Contact

Natascha Graham, What Remains

Elliott Graves, Changing it Up

Chamomile Harrison, Dear Fish

Autumn Hutson, Always, In All My Lives

Brooklyn Quallen, Enough

Jonah Weiss, A Theater for Two

Allison Whittenberg, Kris

Creative Nonfiction

Heather Gardewine, Oxygen

Judy McClure, Copper Beech

Brontë Pearson, The Embracing Ace

Stephen Foster Smith, Molasses Men Dance Wildly Under              Flamingo Suns

Ruth Wilcox, Reckoning


Jaime Balboa, Dust on My Feet

Trinity Carlbom, and she is mine

Nimruz De Castro, (im)personal tragedies: 7

Elisheva Fox, pearls

Robin Gow, When Was the Last Time We Shared a Meal?

Angelita Hampton, Making a Home

Chad Lutz, beautiful gender-normative courting

Chelsie Blair Nunn, This One is a Waterfall

Kolbe Riney, tension

C. L. Sidell, Gynandromorph

Mathew Lily Vogel, Haircut

E. D. Watson, In the Dark I Am

Emma Wynn, When I Hear Your Broken Voice

Ian Williams, So You’re About to Come Out



Michelle Eisen, Fastener

Natascha Graham, Jenny

            The Queen of Hearts

Angelita Hampton, Frida and the Peacock

John Merwin, Love, Life, and Loss

Stacey Noujaim, L Words

Timothy F Phillips, When Birds Fly

Josh Stein, Mosaic I

Anthony Tresp, Large Lupines


Kaitlyn Whatey, Headbangin'

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