Mad Dykes, Queer Worlds

Mad Dykes, Queer Worlds
Ends on Sun, Jun 30, 2024 11:59 PM

What is Madness, and how do we, as lesbian/queer creatives, wield it? Amid much feminist discourse around the figure of the “madwoman,” mostly as an archetype to be avoided or, in some instances, appropriated, in reaction to rational distress under violently cisheteropatriarchal conditions, comparatively little discussion has focused on the lived experience of psychiatric survivorship, iatrogenic harm, and abuse under the sign of “mental illness” or psychiatric disability. Behind and beyond the figure of the madwoman, or the specter of “hysteria,” are the lived (sur)realities of Madpeople of all marginalized genders.

This issue of Sinister Wisdom seeks contributions by lesbian, queer, and/or trans people self-identified as Mad, mentally disabled, and/or psychiatric survivors. Following the portmanteaue coinages “transMad” (Cavar), “neuroqueer” (Walker, Yergeau, and Michaels-Dillon), and “neurotrans” (Smilges), Madness and (gender)queerness are deeply entangled and often inextricable from each other, both as they manifest “inside” us and in our ways of relating to our words, world(s), lovers, and friends.

What, who, and where are Mad dykes, and how do we find each other in a world increasingly oriented toward cisheteronormative, whitewashed wellness? What are the legacies and ongoing violences of queer/trans pathologization in our communities and beyond? How do we live as transMad people amid cissexist, saneist attacks from the reactionary Right? And how do we share, negotiate, or conceal our experiences of trauma, altered realities, and unfamiliar access needs while also building community?

Please submit works of any, all, or no genres, including reviews and interviews, up to 5,000 words, and a short contributor biography between 25 and 125 words. We are also seeking illustrations and photographs (.jpg or .tif files only, print resolution size at least 300 ppi). Please do not send previously published work.

Deadline for submissions: June 30, 2024
Any questions can be sent to

About the Editor: [sarah] Cavar is a PhD candidate and transMad writer-about-town. Their debut novel, Failure to Comply, is forthcoming with featherproof books (2024). Cavar is editor-in-chief of manywor(l), associate editor at Frontier Poetry, and has had work published in CRAFT Literary, Split Lip Magazine, Electric Lit, and elsewhere. More at, @cavar on BlueSky, and @cavarsarah on twitter.

"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