A Queer Year of Love Letters is a series of fonts that remembers the lives and work of countercultural queers of the past several decades. The series aims to make the act of remembering these overlooked and illegitimate histories accessible to other people, as easy as typing. Better yet: it aims to make the act of typing an act of remembering. That these fonts might be considered typefaces is incidental. They are an attempt to improvise a clandestine lineage, an aspatial and atemporal kind of queer kinship, through the act of writing.
I began making these fonts in order to rapidly document and disseminate the work and ideas that they cite. I pack these histories, or part of them, into fonts for a couple of reasons. First, font files are durable. OpenType fonts (.OTFs) have persisted in their ubiquity since the late '90s and maintain their utility as a nimble and reliable format. Second, fonts have the capacity to contain a hefty amount of information within a tiny package. In under 100 kilobytes, an entire alphabet! In the font’s metadata, a manifesto! Fonts then function as a useful format for ferrying information from one place to another.
I am using these fonts as time machines. These machines take me back—to Robert Ford and Black gay and lesbian underground publishing in early 1990s Chicago; to the Lesbian Alliance, a socialist-feminist enclave in 1970s St. Louis, Missouri; to G.B. Jones and queer punk filmmaking in 1980s downtown Toronto—but they also take me forward to unknown futures through the act of writing itself. In use, these fonts engage the past as a provocation. They engage the past as a verb.
Is this romantic? Yes.