Queer Query: By the Youth — For the Youth

Welcome to The Queer Query's first issue. What you will find ahead is a collection of pieces by folks all across the rainbow spectrum, and we encourage readers to keep an open mind.

We have included lesser known sexualities and gender identities into our anthology, many of which aren't immediately recognizable to the mainstream gay community. For this reason, we have included resources at the end of most articles, and a terminology page for readers to crosscheck.

At our core, we are a youth-driven outlet for queer voices. Our content is written, designed, and ran by teenagers and young adults in the LGBTQ plus community. We aim to control our own narratives. We aim to share accurate perspectives of our stories, as told by the storytellers themselves.

And finally, we aim to spread empowerment for our fellow queer kids.

We are the embodiment of the millennial shift.

For most of us, not a single state allowed marriage equality when we were first brought onto this planet. Not a single queer person could serve openly in the military. DOMA was still in effect. It's the year 2015, and now more than 70 percent of the nation live in a state where people can get married regardless of gender. We have struck down DADT (Although work still needs to be done for our transgender siblings), and the Supreme Court will vote this June on a final marriage ruling.

Half of our generation recognizes gender is on a spectrum, and our stories are getting represented on mass media more often that ever. Our president is the first to openly support LGBT people while in office, and the first to openly address us on the State of the Union address. (Along with the word Instagram. Next goal: asexuality, perhaps.)

We have seen openly gay and lesbian prime ministers take office as world leaders. We have seen openly queer musicians, actors, and artists take their places as public role models. We have seen kids our own ages become leaders in various movements. Every single one of us is important.

Don't ever believe that you, dear reader, cannot alter the events of history, or be the tide bearer of change. Apathy is an ugly tool people use to numb us. People will tell us we're superficial, vapid, or not socially aware. Reducing us to caricatures is what's used to disempower us. We aren't going to be suppressed.

Don't ever stop being skeptical. Don't ever stop raging. Most importantly: don't ever stop fighting. We were born from the information age, and that's what we'll uphold. We will fight against biases floating around aimed to distort our ideas, or our existence.

We wish to thank our associates, South Florida Gay News and Compass Gay and Lesbian Community Center, for creating a collaboration opportunity for the talented young minds who participated in this project. We wish to give gratitude to our writers, artists, photographers, and beyond. Finally, we wish to thank our readers. Much thanks to you for picking up this paper, whether out of curiosity or intrigue, and investing time on our mind space. Indifference is the active form of destruction, after all. Without thought, we’re static. Without action, we’re dead.

Jae Kanella Markis
Editor-in-Chief of The Queer Query

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