Design by Jennie Vang

“Queer” is a powerful word, and to be Queer is a powerful thing. For so many, art and Queerness are inextricably linked. The art we were exposed to growing up informed the way we came into our Queerness, and now our Queerness informs the way we consume and make art. In almost everything I watch, read and listen to, I look for refractions of this part of myself in order to understand myself better and feel understood. Queerness means community; it means self-knowledge; it means anything that those who claim it want it to mean. I am unbelievably proud of and grateful for these writers and their willingness to tell their stories for this B-Side, for their shaping of it into a fitting reflection on the infinitely diverse array of experiences Queer people possess, for defining their Queerness on their own terms.

Senior Arts Editor Katrina Stebbins can be reached at

My gay girl playlist starter pack, from the new to the nostalgic by Senior Arts Editor Emilia Ferrante

Design by Reid Graham

Sometimes I wish I had gotten the gay college experience I thought I would have – “experimenting” with girls until I figured out that, hey, they weren’t experiments at all. Instead, I figured out I was bisexual while sitting in my childhood bedroom during the deep quarantine of the early pandemic. It would be great if I could paint my quarantine as a beautiful, introspective time of self-reflection and challenging my internalized compulsory heterosexuality. And it was, to some extent — but mostly, I have to admit, I really just had a lot of time on my hands. Time to think and ponder and take “Am I Gay?” tests. (At some point I realized that if you take enough “Am I Gay” tests on the internet, it probably means you are gay.)

Read more here.

A queer girl’s guide to ‘Jennifer’s Body’ by Daily Arts Writer Ava Burzycki

Design by Priya Ganji

Needy Lesnecki (Amanda Seyfried, “A Mouthful of Air”) put it best: “Hell is a teenage girl.” Her own teenagehood is defined by fawning and fumbling over her lifelong best friend, Jennifer Check (Megan Fox, “Dakota”). Jennifer is cruel, controlling and, by the end of the film, a literal man-eater. Even more importantly, she represents the bisexual monster in the closet. Her dynamic with Needy is messy, and it provides a shockingly dimensional look at the raw and repressed sides of Queer teenagehood. 

Read more here.

I cant be the prodigal son by Daily Arts Writer Claire Sudol

Design by Grace Filbin

Queerness can be a joyful expression of love, an affirming assertion of identity and a community where one can find belonging — a celebratory calling into the fold, a home in which to reside. And while all of that is true — Queerness is joyful, welcoming and gay (in every sense of the word) — Queerness can also be heavy and heartbreaking. Many of us can testify to the bitterness that comes along with realizing our identities in communities that don’t understand us and often don’t want us around. 

Read more here.

A conversation with my therapist about my gender identity by Anonymous Contributor

Design by Grace Aretakis

(If there’s nothing specifically on your mind today, I wonder if you maybe want to talk about your gender identity a little bit?)

Yeah, actually I do. I didn’t even realize it, but I actually have been thinking about this a lot lately. So, yeah, let’s talk about it. 

Here’s where I’m at with the whole gender thing: One of the reasons I first wanted to go to therapy was because of some new gender dysphoria I started feeling a year or so ago. And after a lot of struggling and wrestling with the concept and the feelings, I feel like this semester I was finally more confident in where I landed. Which is why we haven’t talked about it yet. But lately, I have been questioning again.

Read more here.

Nothing is really ‘Straight Up’ by Senior Arts Editor M. Deitz

Design by Jennie Vang

“What if I’m not gay?” 

This may not be the first line of James Sweeney’s feature film debut “Straight Up,” but it may as well be. Todd (Sweeney, debut) sits in a diner across from his friends, model Meg (Dana Drori, “Freaky”) and competent gay Ryder (James Scully, “You”), trying to convince them that he’s straight. In his current rationalization, Todd is only gay because everyone else deems him as such — he embodies the idea of “gay,” therefore he is. Desperate to not be alone, he believes that giving heterosexuality a shot will magically find him a partner, and it miraculously does in the form of aspiring actress Rory (Katie Findlay, “Man Seeking Woman”).

Read more here.

‘Bend It Like Beckham’ isn’t a queer story, but it’s part of mine by Senior Arts Editor Sarah Rahman

Design by Abby Shreck

Okay, time for a confession.

Long before I began to unpack my internalized misogyny and unchecked ego, I was just another girl who clung to wearing weird clothes and an interest in sports in the name of being “not like other girls.” Since then, I’ve embraced how beautiful and complex being a woman is, and how I can be perfectly myself and similar to a lot of other women — a truly lovely thing. But before I could come to terms with such a concept, I needed to uncover the missing piece of myself that was ardently telling me I was different and could never fit in with the girls around me. This, I would realize, was my unrecognized Queerness.

Read more here.