LSQ has always been an inclusive community with one small (or not so small) caveat. You must be female to have your work published with us. As time has gone on, we have had internal discussions about making statements on what that means exactly.
In the end, the call was made to keep the language throughout our site and publications on the female end of the spectrum. We have indeed published a few authors who skirted the edge of more conservative definitions of womanhood and, if the story is right, we’ll do that again.
I’m sure there are a lot of people out there that would prefer we make a clear stance on if we’ll accept stories by authors who are transgender or gender fluid. My answer to that is actually pretty simple. “Do you feel like you identify with what it means to be a woman, by your personal definition?” and “Do you feel comfortable in the community we’ve created here?” If the answer to those questions is yes, then please send us your story or sign up to write for the blog.
The mission of LSQ is to support female genre fiction writers and their stories. It is this editor’s belief that being female has little to nothing to do with what your body looks like. There are a lot of hard-to-define factors that go into anyone’s personal definition of if they are female or not, and many of those are driven by complex feelings often mired in the constraints of our culture’s definitions of gender.
In the last six years of publishing LSQ, I have had a front-row seat to the amazing strides women are making to gain personal freedom and safety. It’s an honor to watch as women ask the hard questions, not only of the men around them, but also of their governments, society at large, other women, and especially themselves.
And some women are coming up with answers that are hard to process, and realizing that defining themselves as a ‘woman’ suddenly doesn’t fit the way it used to, though nothing else really feels right either.
That leaves me with a question to ask myself in regards to what “woman spaces” mean and if they still work. In short, yes, they do still work and they’re still needed. Women-oriented places like LSQ are still important. There is still work to be done, there is still inequality all around us, and there is still a need for women’s voices to have a place held for them.
It just may mean that the woman who wrote one of the stories you are about to read may or may not fit so squarely into that round hole of “woman” as you might assume. And we welcome her and the story she has to tell.