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: August 31, 2024

Submit to Sinister Wisdom

About the Issue Editors:

Kali Herbst Minino is a journalist based in Seattle who works primarily for Seattle Gay News, though their work has also appeared in the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog and Seattle Pride Magazine. They use a restaurant job to fund their freelance journalism habit and love reading about labor movements and media studies.

Dot Persica is a performer and writer/cartoonist born in Naples, Italy. They are the cofounder of the Italian queer collective STRASAFFICA* for which they frequently provide illustrations and with which they have published some writing as well. English language work can be read in the Queer Joy issue of Lesbians Are Miracles.

Mikayla Hamilton is a writer based in North Carolina. She served as editor-in-chief of her college literary journal and is a lover of experimental writing, serif fonts, and beauty for beauty’s sake. She is currently working on her first novel, a story about a fashion designer navigating hardship, heartbreak, and acceptance. You can find her in her local coffee shop with one of her many notebooks.

Cassidy Hunt is an archivist-in-training from Edinburgh, Scotland. She works with the Lavender Menace Queer Books archive working to preserve queer book history from the twentieth century. She has worked as a volunteer for Sinister Wisdom since summer 2023 to fuel her love for all things related to lesbian history and culture.

"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