Artwork By Tanya

Meghan and Wa, a video journalist and data analyst in New York create an archive for queer Stories

Here is their story: 

It’s actually quite spacious in quarantine; we were both once in the closet.

Before the pandemic hit New York, we walked to the theatre to watch Portrait of a Lady on Fire.

Just weeks later, we went back and watched it again. The film gave us chills, and we were just beginning to understand why.

By early April, we were in quarantine. This time, our screens offered an uneasy mix of uncertainty and information overload. Still, we hadn’t forgotten the stillness we had felt in the theatre and tried to chase it elsewhere. We binged a Dutch mini-series called ANNE+; read a beautiful piece by a New York Times journalist about her coming out; and listened to music by queer artists.

All of these works spoke to us because they were based in real feelings. They inspired us to reflect and write about the first time we felt “queer.” The experience was so generative that we wanted to make it possible for other people to share their stories.

Writing about something as tangible as your own feelings is one of the best ways we know to stay grounded right now.

So we created a virtual community called Dear Queerantine.

Dear Queerantine is a digital writing project for women & non-binary/trans people who are queer, questioning, or curious, however, we self-identify (or don’t).

Our goal is to crowdsource stories from around the world through writing prompts on our website. Anyone who writes a letter receives one from someone else in the community. Everyone can read excerpts on our Instagram and newsletter.

Here’s the thing. Desire is complicated. We can’t be what we can’t see, and it’s hard to express what we don’t know we can feel. By writing, you make it easier for other people not just to share their story, but to let themselves feel in the first place.

We hope that you’ll be moved and inspired by others in turn, as we’ve been.

The first batch of letters arrived from South America, Asia, Australia, and both coasts of the United States. One theme we noted universally was that of initial doubt. Each of us breached barriers to accept our feelings and act on them, whether in childhood or later in life.

For many of us, coming out felt like a confession. Our hope is that Dear Queerantine will help us write our stories on our own terms, in all their rawness and beauty.