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The 2019-2020 Writers unapologetic


Imagine Sylvester twirling in a rainbow caftan, each sequin catching black light on the dancefloor. There’s CA Conrad, conjured from crystal rituals we read aloud from ECODEVIANCE in the San Francisco Public Library. There’s Audre Lorde, speaking aloud A Litany for Survival, and Sylvia Rivera rising from the ground and sharing her STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) knowledge. 

We take inspiration from these artists and other LGBTQ artists. Our queer/trans artistic lineage ranges from historic to contemporary - Sappho to Cherrie Moraga, June Jordan to Justin Chin, Alison Bechdel, Adrienne Marie Brown, Leslie Feinberg, Marsha P. John- son, Lou Sullivan, Kitty Tsui, and beyond. 

Three years ago, I launched creative writing workshops as a collaboration with the Queer Ancestors Project and QAP’s Director, Katie Gilmartin. Now, we’ve proudly ushered in sixty creative writing and printmaking students with published work in the Queer Ancestors Project/Foglifter Press anthology. 

In Unapologetic: The Queer Ancestors Project Anthology III, twenty voices take us from “Women who survived being dead girls” to “all the people who have seen me before I even saw myself.” Look at the lineage in: “I wanted to thank you. If it wasn’t for you, I’d never have known I had a right to be me. It seems quite meta quoting your words back to you.” These texts and prints affirm a queer/trans lineage, remind us that “some- one came before me,” that we “can turn the heritage of silence and oppression into strength, solidarity, and sunshine,” that reclamation is possible, and, literally, “we are everywhere.” “To all the people strutting around with their lace-up boots, dungarees & ring of keys, I see you.” 

It is a joy to share these creative works - to speak back to queer/trans artistic lineages and imagine our collective future. 

I am so proud of the Queer Ancestors Project students, and this third year of collaboration between QAP, Foglifter Press, and San Francisco Arts Commission. Many thanks to: Katie Gilmartin, Irina Contreras, Tina Wiley, Jaren Bonillo, Vanessa Hamill, Wendy Kramer, and the Foglifter Team—especially Miah Jeffra, Luiza Goodlett-Flynn, and JS Lisa Galloway. Thank you for committing young queer/trans voices to history. 

Foreword by QAP Writes Facilitator, Celeste Chan. 

Unapologetic print by sylk rodriguez.

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