Gender Diverse Lesbians

Call for Submissions – Sinister Wisdom: Gender Diverse Lesbians

Gender nonconformity has long, thick, roots in Lesbianism, but the coexistence of being other gendered and Lesbianism is as varied in its narrative as what is meant by “gender diverse,” “nonbinary,” and/or “other gendered.” The controversy surrounding French Lesbian philosopher Monique Wittig’s statement, “Lesbians are not women,” provides a snapshot into this tension. This conclusion stemmed from her broader argument that woman is a social and political class defined by the patriarchal heterosexual contract; that man and woman are categories of dominance. Conceptualizing Lesbianism as resistance to the patriarchy-as freedom to be and love whoever despite the existing man-made binaries of humanity’s social roles, places Lesbians outside of “man” and “woman.”

Wittig rejects the reclamation of woman as playing into the system of oppression and ultimately upholding it. Though not an argument for other genders and radical in its rhetoric, her argument may be appropriated to tell a more gender inclusive story of Lesbianism. Us nonbinary, gender diverse, and genderqueer Lesbians are doing exactly what our cisters are doing: conceptualizing, existing, and loving outside of what is structured to have power over us. Yet, our lives are not just theoretical, philosophical, or political arguments. We are not just bodies that you impress and practice your ideologies on.

This issue aims to hold space for Lesbians who explicitly fall in between (all over and simultaneously at) trans identities conceptualized as places on opposite ends: trans men and trans women. This issue seeks to honor and affirm Lesbians outside of the sex/gender binary in all forms that it may take and to include nonconcrete gender identities found in all cultural specifics.

Action, place, and physicality. The discourse around gender has been so simultaneously concrete and abstractly individualistic. What does it mean to be trans, but to not transition? Why is transness qualified by action? What if the change were only social, and not medical? What happens when consider nonbinary as a subculture? How may we appropriate the language and theology of our Lesbian/Queer ancestors to foster a more gender diverse Lesbian world?

We seek essays, short fiction, poetry, oral histories, and visual arts that tackle these questions and more. Of utmost importance is a representation of gender diverse Lesbian lives in all forms. Please submit once through Submittable; submissions should be in one document (up to 10 pages). Include a brief bio (four to five sentences) in the body of the email, along with any social media links.

Sinister Wisdom is a multicultural lesbian literary & art journal that publishes four issues each year. Publishing since 1976, Sinister Wisdom works to create a multicultural, multi-class Lesbian space. Sinister Wisdom seeks to open, consider and advance the exploration of Lesbian community issues. Sinister Wisdom recognizes the power of language to reflect our diverse experiences and to enhance our ability to develop critical judgment as Lesbians evaluating our community and our world.

Contributors will receive a one-year subscription to Sinister Wisdom and a copy of the issue.

Submissions Deadline: January 31, 2024

Submit to Sinister Wisdom

About the Issue Editor: Sierra Earle is a nonbinary Lesbian project coordinator from Cedar Rapids, Iowa where they are always seeking community. In 2022, they were awarded the Sister Mary Xavier Creative Writing Award from Mount Mercy University, won first place in the annual Lyrical Iowa competition in 2021, and regularly participate in various local readings. They also served as an Editorial Assistant for Sinister Wisdom overseeing various projects including the 2023 calendar and marketing for Sinister Wisdom issues. Outside of work, they are a lover of jazz, birds, and nonconformers.

"Empowerment comes from ideas."

Gloria Anzaldúa

“And the metaphorical lenses we choose are crucial, having the power to magnify, create better focus, and correct our vision.”
― Charlene Carruthers

"Your silence will not protect you."

Audre Lorde

“It’s revolutionary to connect with love”
— Tourmaline

"Gender is the poetry each of us makes out of the language we are taught."

― Leslie Feinberg

“The problem with the use of language of Revolution without praxis is that it promises to change everything while keeping everything the same. “
— Leila Raven