Volume 19, Issue 1 (2023) The Rainbow Issue

Fairy tales have always struck me as an inherently queer art form—though I guess that depends on one’s definition of queerness. I think of the writer and activist bell hooks who, in a conversation at Eugene Lang College in 2014, defined queerness as “the self that is at odds with everything around it and has to invent and create and find a place to speak and to thrive and to live.” What I love most about hooks’s definition is that the emphasis is not on a self that needs to be invented, created, or found, but rather a place in which the queer self can be accommodated. Fairy tales, with their intuitive logic and normalized magic, have always been at odds with a certain school of literary realism, and yet I would argue they remain humanity’s longest-standing storytelling tradition precisely because of their ability to render lived human experience despite their apparent detachment from reality. They are both themselves queer and a place where queerness can speak and thrive and live.


The Rainbow Issue
Kate Bernheimer

The Rainbow Issue

Founding Editor
Kate Bernheimer, University of Arizona
Benjamin Schaefer
Poetry Editor
Jon Riccio
Advisory Board
Donald Haase, Wayne State University
Maria Tatar, Harvard University
Jack Zipes, University of Minnesota
Associate Prose Editor
Wendy Oleson
Associate Poetry Editors
Adam Al-Sirgany, Nazli Pearl, Matthew Schmidt, Billie R. Tadros
Original Print Design
J. Johnson, DesignFarm
Cover Art
Kiki Smith, "Born"
(courtesy of the artist)
Andrew Katz