Welcome to our ninth annual queer issue. With gritty realism and unfettered invention, in settings ranging from occupied Iraq to rural Cuba, the eight writers here offer their perspectives on contemporary queer life. In two tales drawing on historic events, Mortada Gzar’s Iraqi barfly occupies himself with American soldiers, while Remigiusz Ryziński tracks Michel Foucault as he cuts a swath through 1950s Warsaw. On the fantastic side, Choi Jin-young sees two young women come together in the wake of an apocalyptic event, and Prabda Yoon’s suicidal transgender woman rises above it all. Tina Amodt’s lesbian couple drive to their isolated cabin and feel a chill settle in, and Sahar Mandour’s famous Lebanese actress is blindsided by an unexpected role. Abilio Estevez’s teenage boy dives into sexual discovery. And poet Nha Thuyen interrogates relationships and pronouns.