‘LORE’ aims to focus on the history of ourselves, as real or imagined as you see fit, to find stories. To find lore. We are looking for storytellers in this issue; take us with you on a detailed and fantastical journey through centuries-old family secrets or the story at your D&D table, show us a self-reflective sculpture or a series of candid photographs that reveal a complex narrative. Take a look at our prompts below for more inspiration, and good luck!
Thinking back to your own experiences of transitioning or coming out, do you think it would be easier or more difficult to transition or come out in classic representations of fantasy (elves, dwarves, demons) or sci-fi (aliens, clones, future) culture? How so?
There is notable history of real-world cultures that have accepted queer sexualities and Gender Queer people without question, or had entirely different concepts of gender and sexuality without binaries that it is important to avoid trying to define with western concepts. Is there any history of this in your culture or across your extended family?
Family is a construct. Family can be those you are related to, or who you relate to. Friends and loved ones. What is the Lore in your family? Is there a story of an ancestor (whatever that means to you) that has always been told generation after generation?
Lore from around the world contains many figures and images of intersex folk, from Hermaphrodite to Baphomet, gynomorphic Bacchus to bearded Venus Barbata and Venus Castina to Hapi, the Nile God. How would you celebrate them?
What are the stories you’d tell around the fire pit? What are your oral traditions you wish to share with our readers?
How does your faith and spirituality intersect with your queerness?
Picture Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. How does your queerness become godliness? How do your queer idols, the ones you worship, become tangiable (or vengefully forgotten)?
You are a deity. How are you celebrated? Write your own hymn to yourself, or create yourself in glorious image.
In a fictional culture where gender is non-existent, more varied or easily changeable, how do you imagine their culture would respond to sex, and
Witches, wizards, warlocks - give us your spells, your grimoire pages, your book of shadows. Give us your ritual and ingredients for achieving gender euphoria, for justice, for queer rights. Give us your very magical and excellent banana bread recipe.
How does your sex become magical? The energy between bodies is hot, electric. How do you enjoy it in all its celebratory glory? For asexuals, what meaning does sex take for you, and what in your opinion is an enjoyable replacement, and why?
Wouldn’t it be so cool to be a werewolf? How would you have been transformed, by whom, and for what purpose?
What kind of role does divination play in your life? Do you draw a daily tarot card, or carry runes wherever you go? Do you look at the sky and let it decide your day, even if it’s just to check the weather? Do you let the swing of a pendulum help you through your day? What does that look like, and could that ever become a medium or tool to use in your artistic process?
Do you want to talk about specific Lore, myths and legends from your home country or culture? A queer lense on that? Eg Scotland’s national animal is the unicorn.
Can real historical figures be then classified under legends and lore? Saints are real people but also legendary people, can have our own queer saints?
Lore can change when viewed through a specific lens (such as compulsory heterosexuality or through whitewashing). Details are transformed to fit a certain narrative. Explore certain parts of tradition or history which you discovered had been altered to fit a restrictive narrative.
Trigger warnings are mandatory for this issue, so please think carefully about what triggers could be in your submissions.