Letter From the Editor: Douglas Calhoun gives you the 411 on The Queer Interior’s Past, Present, and Future

LFTE

The Queer Interior is back, after a truly informative 2+ years.

My name is Douglas Calhoun and I’m the creator of The Queer Interior.  I want to take the opportunity to tell you a little bit about the time leading up to this letter.

After two hundred and nineteen of you (wow!) raced to the finish line on Kickstarter.com all in an effort to fund The Queer Interior, I was a lot of things: honored, thrilled, panicked, exhausted and overwhelmed.  Your tireless efforts and good faith prevailed and I was left with, “What’s next???”

We produced an Issue in February of 2012 and the response was huge. It was such an absolute thrill.  As luck would have it, I was on my way to Holland to visit my all-of-a-sudden-long-distance boyfriend, I’d recently moved into a gorgeous brownstone, and I’d raised $15,000. Gosh, nothing could go wrong.

Cut to April 2012 and I’d lagged on my responsibilities. I’d broken it off with my European boyfriend and was pretty devastated.  Alongside the pangs of heartbreak, I found myself overwhelmed (and procrastinating) thanks to a pretty deadly combo:  fear and laziness.

I was thinking, “I have to do this thing!”  People paid me—they put a deposit down—my friends, my family, and even my GRANDMA had helped me raise money to start a magazine.  I wasn’t following through. I wasn’t doing my very own Grandma proud! The shade! The shade of it all.  (And the shame.  For real y’all, the shame monster was biting at my heels and he wanted to eat every creative, productive thought I had.)

Then, in late June, the perfect little brownstone I was living in was suddenly infested with bedbugs. Not the kind of bedbug scare where you see one or two bugs, call the bedbug gods, and then it’s over. I had the BEDBUG EXPERIENCE. All two floors of the apartment were infected and we all started, pardon the phrase, “bugging out”. We were being attacked. The environment of blame and paranoia and small bug trauma set in and rules were made.  Slowly I began to throw bags and piles of my belongings onto the street.  Hosing my self down with rubbing alcohol and leaving my shoes just outside the door of my building became a normal (insane) ritual. I was left with an airbed that slowly deflated during the night and I’d wake up on the floor.

All the while, there was a taunting voice inside of me saying, “What about The Queer Interior, how’s that project going? Where’s all that money, huh?” I would attempt composure out in the world and spend my nights on the floor.  Or if I was lucky, at some brave friend’s apartment, someone willing to take the gamble and let me crash.  (Thanks for that by the way, if you’re reading.  Those nights with people who loved me enough to laugh it off when I went into my loop about how I was a leper and they were saints…  Seriously—it was a crazy time and I’m so grateful for all of you.)

After what was a pretty dark summer, I lucked into a great place with friends and swiftly moved in. It was August and my entire life now fit in the back of a small flatbed truck.  I was officially a reluctant minimalist. One of my dearest friends braved the packing and helped me move the four flights back up to freedom. In my new apartment I was free. Free to live in my space and not be terrified of it, free to make it my own.

At this point, it had been a little over a year and the band had broken up by then. My tech person (who was an asset during the website building and fundraising) was a big shot and had moved to a more full time, bigger-and-better thing.  And my photographer (whom I had kept close to the brand, and my heart) was dealing with a life threatening disease. And there she sat on my shelf, dusty and unresolved:  The Queer Interior.

I got a great freelancing job with an event space in Cold Spring NY. I fell into a good groove with my restaurant job, a café and bar that was hit by super storm Sandy in November of 2012, and then was one of the first local spots to open back up for business in Red Hook, Brooklyn

If you were out there thinking, “When’s he going to do that thing?” or “Where is my mother-effing tote bag?” I want you to know: I’m doing it now. Email me (thequeerinterior@gmail.com)  with your address and I’ll send you that tote you’ve been worried about. I’d also like to say thank you again. Thank You for helping me raise that dough, and thanks in a big way for reading this letter.

Lastly, I want you to know I’m feeling up to the challenge now and I’m thrilled to be back, bringing you all amazing content and connecting you to all sorts of different environments! We’ve got really exciting things on the horizon and we can’t wait to share them all. You can look forward to a year of Q.I. starting right now!

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