In fall 2016, SheCult was founded to create a network for queer artists. This year, the collective is publishing its first full-length magazine, to be released at the end of the semester.
The president of SheCult, Sara Barber, said the group was founded for queer people who experience femininity, but is open to anyone willing to contribute and support the community. Barber, a junior writing, literature, and publishing major, said she wants the collective’s magazine to showcase the experience of queer people.
“We want to show what work comes from the queer experience and how we’ve put it into a magazine,” Barber said.
Natalie Harper, a sophomore writing, literature, and publishing major and vice president of SheCult, said the theme of the magazine’s first issue is “Kaleidoscope,” which reflects the idea of viewing gender and sexuality as a spectrum.
“We’re encouraging people to accept that there are different types of identity within the [queer] community and that we respect all of them,” Harper said. “Everybody should feel welcome in this community no matter where they identify within it.”
SheCult is accepting submissions until Oct. 15 and anyone can email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org or attend the collective’s weekly meetings in the Cultural Center at 8 p.m. on Mondays.
“We’ll accept pretty much anything people want to publish,” Harper said. “We have illustrations, cartoons, articles, fiction, nonfiction, and photography.”
Submissions and events are also open to people outside of the Emerson community, according to Barber.
“We want to serve as a collective in the sense that we’re more encompassing than just a platform for the school, which we do exist in and within, but we want to open it up to Boston and beyond,” Barber said.
Harper said SheCult is currently applying for Student Government Association recognition. The cost of publishing a high-quality magazine means that even if they receive a budget from SGA, SheCult will still need to fundraise this semester for their first issue.
Harper said the collective is planning an event this semester that will feature local queer bands and stands selling goods. SheCult’s magazine will be available digitally, but Barber is set on having a print issue for distribution.
“There is nothing like a print publication,” Barber said. “I love the idea of finding something on a coffee table and not knowing anything about it and then picking it up and falling in love.”
Barber is heavily involved in producing the magazine. One major task of hers was putting together the photoshoot for the first issue.
“[Barber] is orchestrating the whole thing,” Harper said speaking of the shoot. “She’s taking the photos, doing the lighting, the makeup, and a lot of the costume design.”
Barber said her experience working as the arts and entertainment editor for Your Magazine and the co-editor-in-chief of Gauge magazine helps her as a leader for SheCult.
“It’s amazing for me to be that well-rounded figure who gets how each magazine functions and then meet their standards and go above them,” Barber said.
Barber said her favorite part of the magazine is the community it creates for queer people.
“I love hearing what everyone is working on for the magazine and getting the feedback and having that community atmosphere of ‘we’re here to love and support you,’” Barber said.