Photo and flowers by Nikki Wiart of Lady’s Hat Farm in Castor, Alta.
I know more than I want to about how tough things have been for many of us as we navigate the impacts of this pandemic. When we started this magazine, I wanted to create something that would be inspiring, informative, lighthearted—anything that wasn’t like the rest of this past year.
It might not be lighthearted—we’ve hit on some hard topics like BLM, Indigenous injustices and reconciling sexual identities—but this single issue definitely achieved the inspiring and informative tone we intended and we hope that our words can help reinforce a more inclusive society.
Initially, we were going to call this magazine Womxn in order to include everyone who identifies as something other than a cis-male. That soon changed after we learned about the controversy surrounding this alternate spelling—that’s not what we are here for. We thought that our then-tagline might be something that encompassed our audience as well as our mindset: she/they/us. Changing the title was actually a perfect analogy: femininity, sexuality and identity evolve and morph constantly, so why shouldn’t our vision for this magazine?
As we aim for inclusivity and to normalize diversity, we have tried to weave a story throughout these pages to show this evolving and fluid understanding of what it means to be a feminist. We open with stories about identity, gender, mental health and race. This leads into sexual identity and stories about the spectrum of preferences that individuals can have. The topic of sex brings up questions about feminism and how we reconcile diverse sexual identities—from asexuality to BDSM—with our feminist convictions. From there, we follow the thread from feminism to families and relationships.
We want to celebrate our differences instead of hiding them, and highlight our collective identity during a time when there is so much going on that could trap us in a negative mindset. Being ashamed of who we are, how our brains work, what we look like, who we like or what we like in the bedroom doesn’t serve anyone. So, we encourage you to leave the shit behind and embrace your unique identity. By bringing up these diverse topics, we hope to create a place where all gender identities are free to be themselves. Whether you identify as a she, they, straight, gay, anything in between, or an ally who walks alongside, we hope you know that you’re one of us.