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In the Magazine: The Queer Issue!

Posted on June 07, 2017

This month, the magazine Words Without Borders has published its 8th queer issue, and WWB Campus is featuring two stories with suggested pairings from our site and resources:

From Turkey, we have a piece of graphic literature named after the battle-cry of the LGBTI (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex) movement in Turkey: “Where are you my love? Here I am, my love!” Editor Susan Harris writes:

Turkish artist and writer Beldan Sezen, now living in New York, returns to her native Istanbul in the "fearful, despondent" early months of 2016. On top of the threat of war and increased suicide bombings, her friends worry about the Erdogan government's association of the queer community with the opposition party and the loss of their majority, and the resulting escalation of anti-gay police action. They meet the cancellation of the annual pride parade with defiance and ingenuity to remain visible both in Istanbul and around the world.

For more background information about what’s going on in the LGBTI movement in Turkey, check out LGBTI News Turkey, where you can find English-language translations of relevant Turkish news stories.

Read this graphic literature alongside “The Story of a Homosexual: An Interview with Ni Dongxue,” from China. In the interview, Ni Dongxue tells his story as a queer person in China to oral historian Liao Yiwu, who tries (awkwardly at times) to learn and be open. There are videos, photos, and articles about LGBTI people and Pride movements in China in the Context and Playlist tabs, including some news and perspectives about the ways in which the Chinese state interacts with the LGBTI movement. The first Teaching Idea, “An Unusual Interview,” gives students a chance to imagine how they would have conducted the interview and discuss these issues.

Another story in WWB’s Queer Issue is “Miss Eddy,” from Mexico, in which young transgender characters leave home and have to make decisions about love and trust, fear and suspicion. Editor Susan Harris writes:

Another sort of danger informs the transgender world of "Miss Eddy," Mexican writer Milena Solot's English-language debut. The title character and her friend Úrsula fall in with the seductive sex trafficker Tommy. As they work their way toward the border, Eddy's initial infatuation turns to suspicion and then fear; when Tommy announces a change of itinerary, she stays behind in Tijuana, but cannot persuade the lovestruck Úrsula to do the same. The result is no less tragic for its inevitability.  

For a story of a young cis-gender man's border crossing from Mexico, read an excerpt from the newly published The Gringo Champion by Aura Xilonen. Like the narrator of “Miss Eddy,” Liborio also has a run-in with brutal law enforcement officers, and you can find resources about border-crossing in the Context and Playlist for The Gringo Champion.

We hope you and your students enjoy this exciting collection of literature. Please be in touch with ways that you have taught international literature about LGBTI issues!