Call for Submissions: Stories of Queer San Jose (Living Histories Vol. 2)

Deadline: 15 November 2019

In an interview about her novel, America Is Not the Heart, local author Elaine Castillo speaks to the importance of writing about being queer in the suburbs. The suburban or the rural or the country, she says, that’s always the kind of backwards place that you have to leave behind in order to come into your queerness. And I just don’t think that’s everybody’s story. I don’t think that’s the trajectory every queer person takes. Castillo sets the bulk of her novel in Milpitas strip malls and subdivisions. She populates these settings with a cast of middle and working class Filipinx immigrants with deep familial ties. Those are the queer lives that I’m interested in showing and exploring, she says. Those are the queer lives that I knew growing up.

For this volume of our Living Histories series, we are interested in exploring experiences of LGBTQ folks in San Jose.

The Prompt

Tell us a story (no more than 200 words in length) about being queer in Santa Clara County. We are interested in stories from living queers (tell your own story! interview your elders!) as well as those queer ancestors who have passed. 

Anyone who lives (or has recently lived) in Santa Clara County may participate. 

To contribute, please send us one of the following:

  1. An image with an accompanying caption of up to 200 words, OR
  2. A sound file with an accompanying caption of up to 200 words

(See specific Image Guidelines and Sound Guidelines below.)

Email your submission, along with a one line biographical statement, to

We do accept submissions offered under a pseudonym.

Image Guidelines 

Submit a photograph of a place, event, or object.  These might include important locations/places in your personal queer history (or broader Santa Clara County history), or any other relevant image. If you no longer live in Santa Clara County but would like a location image included in your submission, let us know the address and location name, and we can take the photo for you. All image submissions should be .jpg, .jpeg, or .gif formats. 

Include with your submission:

  • Title of image
  • The photographer’s name
  • Date the photo was taken (day, month, year if you know all 3)
  • General location
  • An image description

OF NOTE: We aim to avoid creating a surveillance database. Because facial recognition technology can access and use public images, we will blur out the faces of photographic subjects who are still living. We will not blur out the faces of those who are now deceased, or those in photographs that are over 30 years old.  

Sound Guidelines

You can submit up to three minutes of sound. Submissions can be music, conversations, ambient noise, descriptions of events or places, short oral histories, etc.  All sound submissions should be on .mp3 or .wav files. 

Include with your submission:

  • Title of recording
  • Name(s) of the person(s) who captured the recording
  • Date of the recording (day, month, year if you know all three)
  • General location
  • Any context you wish to provide for future listeners

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