Call for Submissions: Dear [X]: Coming Out Letters From Trans People

Submissions for Dear [X]: Coming Out Letters From Trans People are now open!

Dear [X]  is a collection of the letters trans people wrote to come out to their friends, families, partners, employers, or anyone else in their lives. Dear [X] is being published by TransActive Gender Center, a Portland-based nonprofit that serves transgender children and their families. Many youth who use our services are in the process of coming out, and for many reasons, we think one of the best ways to tell someone you’re trans is via a letter. We hope that this zine will help trans youth experiencing writer’s block with creating their own coming out letters.

What are we looking for?</p?

Have you written a letter to someone to tell them you are transgender, nonbinary, genderqueer, agender, Two Spirit, questioning, or any other non-cisgender identity? We’d love to see your letter, as well as any comments or pieces of advice you have for youth writing their own letters.  Trans youth who have come out may submit their own letters, but we’d like submissions from folks of all ages, too.

Some questions to answer along with your submission:

  • Who were you coming out to? What should we know about them for context?
  • What did it feel like to tell someone you’re not cisgender? What happened when you told them?
  • Was coming out via a letter easier than you thought? Harder? Why?
  • Would you do anything differently if you had the chance? What?
  • What would you tell others to include in their letters; what would you recommend they exclude?

Are there any guidelines/rules?

We recognize that “the trans experience” is different for everyone, and that mainstream trans visibility often excludes certain groups of people. Because of this, we welcome and encourage submissions from trans people of color, trans people with disabilities, trans folks whose first language isn’t English, and anyone whose oppression extends beyond their gender identity – topics like immigration, religion, diaspora, race, class, ability, and more are all parts of the trans experience, and it’s important to us that this zine reflects that.

Since this zine will be given to trans youth, please keep entries PG-13.

How do I submit?
Email your submissions to toby@transactiveonline.org by September 8th, 2017.

We know that these letters can get wordy, but since space is limited, we may have to edit down entries over 1500 words. Please use file formats compatible with Microsoft Word or Google Docs. You may include good-quality images for which you are the owner; blurry/copyrighted images won’t be printed.

Along with your letters, we’d like to include your first name, age (both at the time the letter was written and your current age,) gender identity, and location. You can share as many of these as you’d like to, but may exclude whatever you’re not comfortable sharing. Submissions should not contain anyone else’s information unless you have their permission. If you don’t specify, we’ll edit out any identifying information. You’ll receive a response by September 14th, 2017. We’re excited to read your submissions!

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