Since history is the narrative of victors, each word in this anthology represents a small triumph. At the time their authors were born, such words could not have been written or barely imagined. We remember being damned by our churches, rejected by our friends and parents, fired from our jobs, and beaten on the streets. Whether or not these things happened to us as individuals, we lived in the shadow of their possibility, and though many of us are out and proud today, we still recall those times of fear and shame.
We have written this book in order to make our stories and histories part of the record. They are complicated stories because these were complicated times – times of fear, for sure, but also times of glory and excitement, in which we invented bent and beautiful strategies of resistance, survival, and celebration.
If there’s one thing we have learned, it’s that conformity does not save us. Rather, we must stay dedicated to queerness. Being creatively quirk-e isn’t just a charming hobby for oldies; it’s a passionate resistance to staying straight, keeping quiet, and hoping for the best. It was what we did to stay alive and kicking in inhospitable and dangerous times
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