Hello, and WELCOME TO IRIS MAG! I am so excited to finally be able to share this space with all of you, from campus community members to students, family, and friends.
If it’s taken you a long time to get here (here, a place that wants to hear you, honors your voice, and loves you for being here, regardless of how you come), you’re not alone. As someone who did not (fully) come out until after high school, I struggled to feel supported. I struggled to feel seen. I struggled to get the resources from a community of people who understood me.
Even after arriving at college, it’s been hard for me to trust that sense of stability and acceptance from those around me. I’m accustomed to playing a part and trying so hard to please someone who wasn’t me. Every day, I’m learning how to unlearn all of that—to be the person that little-kid Sarah always wanted to be.
Becoming that person is a life-long process, and I know that that experience is not unique to me. But if you’re reading these words and finding that they resonate with you, I want you to know that there are steps you can take to get there. You’re allowed to be the person you’ve always wanted to. You’re okay. And you’re doing a really great job.
Since coming here, I’ve been introduced to all of the homoerotic cartoons I never watched as a kid. I’ve spent way too much time reading Anne Sexton, TC Tolbert, and Andrea Gibson. I’ve listened to hours (HOURS) of Lucy Dacus, Dua Saleh, Elton John, and Adrianne Lenker. I’ve bought crystals, tried matcha, went vegan, and finally shaved my head. I know a lot of these things are old news for my experienced gays, but I’m really grateful to finally be in a space where I can experiment and express myself the way that I’ve always wanted to. This has been a space for me to find that new beginning that I’ve been needing to grow into the person that I need to be.
I want Iris to be that space. Iris wants your weird, your experimental, your reflective, your self-discovering, your healing and your peace. Iris wants your QUEER, whatever that means to you. And I want you to know that whoever you are, however you come into this space, and whatever you bring with you, we are here to hold it, love it, and cherish it.
Thank you. Thank you for being here and joining me in that space. We are so excited to bring this mag to you, and begin this journey together.