Introducing the Queer & Trans Issue 

A letter from the editors.

A previous edition of queer party Swagger Like Us.

Photograph by Takeover Tokyo

A previous edition of queer party Swagger Like Us.

This issue wasn't easy to name. That's because, for many people, LGBTQ identity is defined by its slipperiness — the way it fluidly resists simple labels and always exists on a spectrum. And on top of that, other social identifiers such as race, class, and disability crucially contribute to one's gender experience. So, representing all of this without excluding anyone — and finding a title concise enough to fit on a front cover — was remarkably tricky.

Most publications would call this their Pride issue. And we considered that, too. But, ultimately, we decided against this for a number of reasons, not the least of which is how "Pride," for all its good, can feel like a monolithic and not-always-inclusive brand.

That's why, for this issue, we strove to highlight the people who don't fit neatly into the narrative visualized by two white guys kissing on their wedding day. (Although we're genuinely happy for those two!) We hoped to hone in on and celebrate the complexities and diversity of queer and trans identity and culture.

And we also wanted all the queer-and-trans coverage in this week's issue to be contributed by individuals who identify as queer or trans — every single article and illustration. Part of that is putting our money where our figurative mouth is. We recognize that being an ally to the LGBTQ community is not just about supporting them with our coverage. It's also about supporting them economically through our hiring decisions.

As always, we want to know: What could we have done better? And what LGBTQ topics would you like to see in forthcoming issues of the Express? Don't hesitate to reach out. — Sarah.Burke@eastbayexpress.com and Nastia.Voynovskaya@eastbayexpress.com

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