Guest Post by Jeff Adams
On May 12 Center Authors presented the third and final installment of its Queer Nerds series with “A Queer Nerd Travel Guide,” which celebrated the publication of the third issue of FAQNP: FAQNP’s A Queer Nerd Publication.
FAQNP’s editor Ray Cha introduced some of the contributors to “A Queer Nerd Travel Guide” for a reading.
First up was Anna Dunn, the Editor In Chief of the Diner Journal, who said she likes to write for FAQNP because it allows her to write things she doesn’t usually get to write. She read two of her FAQNP articles. For the current travel issue she wrote “How Do You Say Anchor.”
“When you have moved past the experience of experiencing a place, you start to understand how the place experiences you,” Dunn read from her work. “Sometimes, I felt as though I barely existed in Mexico. I was a blind spot following around three young attractive women, which almost felt like success to me. Over the last twenty years, I have invested in living with my queer identity instead of living through it. That is to say, I try to be present and fluid in the way I exist, not deliberate or overt.”
Next up was Dean Hooks, a Brooklyn-based freelance copywriter, reading from his essay “In/Out,” which detailed his time in Tokyo. “Japan’s premier gayborhood is Shinjuku Nichome, a small five-block area containing the world’s highest concentration of gay bars. Most seat ten to twelve people, each catering to a very specific type of homo: twinks, bears, BDSM-ers, and regular everyday queens just into a bit of karaoke. I spent many nights wandering the streets, occasionally summoning the courage to sit down, have a drink, and make a connection.”
FAQNP’s creative director Erich Nagler read from “Scandinavian Libraries, Budapest Bathhouses.” “I’m working overseas in Europe,” he read from the essay’s opening. “How glam, I thought, when I started. A Texas kid, a few years out of college in New York, and now this. Really, though, it’s not as grand as it sounds. Europe on a shoestring budget is pretty much the same (read: just as un-glam) as anyplace else without money. Ramen, tunafish, spaghetti, not going out. But I have my work to sustain me, and that’s been enough—till now. Now, I’m desperate.”
Editor Ray Cha read the last piece of the evening, which was his introduction to FAQNP’s second issue, which focused on computers. He chose it because it gave insight on why he’s doing the FAQNP project. The piece also happened to have a little travel flavor to it as well. “We now use geographic metaphors when describing the Internet (R.I.P. Geocities), with terms like “information architecture” or “visiting” a website,” he read. “But in fact, the Internet removes a sense of place. Actual physical location—or at least geographic distance—disappears. For those of us English speakers living outside of queer epicenters like New York or San Francisco or London, the Internet removed the physical boundaries limiting our interaction and community building.”
You can get more details on FAQNP, and pick up its third issue, at its website.