The New Journal’s tagline has always been: “The Magazine about Yale and New Haven.” Our mission, as we understand it, is to represent these spaces through the stories of the people who occupy them. Recently, we’ve been thinking more about how best to do so.
We began our year as a managing board by discovering a trove of dusty archives—hundreds and hundreds of time capsules of the University and the city. We ended the year with TNJFest, where the past collided with the present as alums of the last fifty years descended on the Branford Common Room. These bookends on our term have affirmed to us that TNJ is a living history, and journalism can do essential record-keeping. More than that, we’ve been reminded that longform can follow the narratives behind the numbers, make human the abstractions of headlines, and in doing so disrupt assumptions; contradict generalizations; and reveal gaps in the common discourse.
Across the nation, queer people are facing renewed threats. Dozens of bills have been passed in state legislatures this year that restrict transgender people from accessing gender-affirming care, despite medical consensus that this care is sound and necessary. Anti-LGBTQ+ violence is on the rise, and the tired caricature of queer people as predatory “groomers” has reappeared in popular media. At what may be a regressive inflection point for LGBTQ+ rights in America, the future hangs uncertain.
In this issue, Abbey Kim explores queer Christians’ ongoing battles for acceptance in their churches. Jabez Choi chronicles the decline of gay bars, and asks the question: what is the meaning of a “safe” space? Sasha Carney traces the history of lesbian social life on campus, and Jools Fu navigates the complicated masculinity of the Singapore Armed Forces. Theia Chatelle and Iz Klemmer explore the obstacles trans kids face when seeking gender-affirming care, while Hannah Szabó remembers the spaces and people that supported her own journey during childhood.
These stories aim to situate some of New Haven’s queer life in both history and experience. We hope to do in this issue the same thing we have sought to do since 1967, a purpose reiterated in our October 2001 issue’s letter from the editors: to put our moment in context.