Are you some combination of trans, genderqueer, non-binary, and/or fall under any non-hetero orientation (queer, gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, etc.)? Are you also a pagan, heathen, witch, and/or occultist? Have you felt alienated by most practitioners of your spirituality because of cissexism and essentialism, either implied or overt? Do you want to follow a pre-christian or nature-worshipping spirituality without all the cisnormative/heteronormative fertility-obsessed trappings? Do you feel alienated from paganism because you can’t relate to middle-class suburban or rural living, because you do not own your own home or have a yard to grow an herb garden (even if you could afford to)? Do you want to practice your beliefs without appropriating anyone else’s cultural heritage? I know I’m not the only one.
I have seen a few groups and individuals who have modified their practices to be (cis) LGB inclusive. Who says we can’t further evolve our spiritual beliefs and practices to reflect the true diversity of our experiences?
I am putting together a zine (to be published online primarily, but also in dead-tree print form available by request) about the experiences of trans and queer pagans (you don’t have to be both queer *and* trans but I am focusing primarily on non-hetero, non-cis experiences), with an overall theme of fighting kyriarchy and working toward social justice. I am accepting submissions of written or visual works that fit the theme. While I can not offer any monetary compensation for published submissions, anyone whose work gets included will be entitled to a free copy or two of the printed zine, and if you want, I will also put a plug in the zine for other projects of yours.
The zine will be half-size (5.5”x8”) format if/when printed, so please keep that in mind if you have a preference for how it looks. Please make any written works legible and in a size and font that is easy to read for those that may have varying degrees of sight-related disabilities (please type all written submissions, keep it a generic font and at least 12pt). English is not required but it would help if it were translatable so moderation of content is easier. I will accept .pdf, .doc (not docx!!), .rtf, or .txt files for written submissions (or just written in the body of an email is fine too), and pretty much any image format for any visual art or photography. Please try to keep the resolution of images 300 dpi and up. It’s also okay to submit something that isn’t totally new, such as a blog post you wrote last year, as long as it fits the theme. :)
Suggestions for submissions (or, a list of things I would eventually like to write about in the zine if nobody else does first):
- Personal experiences of implicit or explicit transphobia/heteronormativity/racism/ableism/classism/general bustedness in pagan groups/covens
- Critique of cissexism in pagan/wiccan/heathen core beliefs and mythologies
- Sample rituals, spells, or other practical things, which have been created or modified to make it more focused on dismantling kyriarchy
- Discussion of privilege in relation to paganism (i.e. when a pagan writer assumes all the readers are middle-class or higher, own their own home with a yard, have disposable income, and I could go on and on…)
- Incorporating your spiritual beliefs in with your anti-oppression work
- How to de-gender spirituality (or merely de-emphasize gender) and deconstruct sexist and essentialist narratives without shaming people for whom fertility *is* personally important, but deconstructing and decentralizing the standard cis-hetero-monogamous narrative
- Even though there has been a lot written about cultural appropriation in neo-paganism, I would definitely like to include pieces about this
- Also the idea that neo-pagans/wiccans/etc. are the Most Oppressed Religion In The U.S., which is an especially absurd mindset given the events of this past decade (see also: asshat atheists with persecution complexes, like Dawkins, etc.)
- Ableist anti-science and anti-medicine bias among pagans, and how that relates to being a trans person accessing/reliant on medical transition (ALSO if anyone has one or more disabilities and how that also ties ableism with anti-science bias in very similar ways)
- “Oh we’re not like THOSE people” attitudes among pagans/witches/herbalists that have classist/racist/ageist overtones, for example: “REAL pagans would never use cannabis or psilocybe mushrooms” or “witches are never satanists!”
- Any privileges and intersections of oppressions that I have not specified in this call for submissions are also free for discussion, srsly
Also please note that inclusion of submissions is at my discretion. If I feel a piece doesn’t fit the theme, or includes oppressive content, I may ask you to change it or choose not to include it. This is not to say that I am going to be scrutinizing every piece as if I am the ultimate arbiter of What Is Progressive Enough. But please keep your own privileges in mind. For example, I will not include any use of language like “bio male”, “tr—-ies” applied as a general term, or busted generalizations about trans people as special magical third-gender beings (it would be a great idea to read through something like Not Your Mom’s Trans 101 or similar before writing something, if you haven’t already, and PLEASE remember to differentiate between your own personal experiences to avoid generalizing or projecting onto others), nor will I include anything that is appropriative of other cultures (i.e. if you are a white U.S.ian living on stolen land and benefitting from centuries of genocide and you are writing about your ~Native American shamanic path~ just, *no*). But don’t let that stop you from submitting. I am very open to discussion if you have questions about the project. I kind of want this to be a springboard for community building, a way to find each other and feel less isolated and abandoned.
ALSO I still need a title for this zine. It’s hard to come up with something that doesn’t use a “trans” related pun like “transforming” or w/e but that still conveys the theme somehow. :P I’m open to suggestions, since I am terrible at naming anything.
PLEASE SEND SUBMISSIONS TO:
beyond.the.fields.we.know (at) gmail (dot) com
And please put something with “zine” in the subject line! Tentative deadline for submissions (to the first issue) will be March 12th so that it can be released by the equinox (Ostara for the northern hemisphere; Mabon for those south of the equator). The deadline may be extended if circumstances require it. Thanks!