“Fancy men in fancy clothes will tell you writing isn’t safe or to face our ugliness one must risk or any number of fancy things. I don’t know if writing can ever be safe but I do know there is nothing risky in telling the old stories about gender. The old stories I read and read that denied me access and made jokes at my expense. If I was lucky I would see a trans person (almost always a trans woman) be inspirational, Wow so uplifting, they say, but, more often, I saw them dead. Trans* folks’ narrative legacy is almost always, at best, a warning sign.
“Therefore as a writer I’ve come to know that submitting a work means either outing myself and writing the inspirational trans* story or dead trans* story or lying about my gender. Betray what it means to exist or betray myself. THEM, a trans* literary journal I founded and edit, is an attempt to facilitate as safe a space as possible for trans* folks to write what they want, to avoid the pressure of how they ought to display or not display their gender.”
Read the rest by Jos Charles, “Not In A Vacuum: On The Necessity Of Trans* Literature” published on The Quietus.