To say I am proud to gift this, Apotheosis, to you, is an understatement; I am ecstatic and thrilled and, yes, relieved. We have been carrying this thing, this vision, for over a year, and now it is yours. I hope this issue challenges and encourages you; I hope you find yourself, the monster budding within, reflected somewhere in this work.
Monstering began quietly. Uncertainly. I didn't expect many people to be interested in a magazine for disabled women and nonbinary people. Perhaps this was a failing on my part—I didn't realize how large the community is, or how large my world would become as a result of reaching out. Yet here we are, a year after our launch, bigger and better and brighter—so much brighter—than I could have imagined, even in my wildest dreams.
I remember telling people that yes, we are advocating monstrosity, we are celebrating disability, we know what we're about. I remember thinking how silly I was to believe that Monstering could become something. Something with purpose; something with heart. So when I say how grateful I am, how humbled, to be proven wrong, it is with sincerity. The support we've received brings me to my knees, each and every day. I can only hope that, as part of this work, we will reflect that support, see it grow, let it be for you what it has been for us: inspiring, uplifting, a shining spot of solidarity.
This issue is full of monstrosity, but I promise, it’s not what you think. In Joanna C. Valente's "Their Hell," we meet Lucifer and the children—the shadow wives—he loves. In Inés Ixierda's "Glamour Shot/Fasciotomy self portrait," physical trauma meets body horror. In Kate Horowitz' "Ketoconazole," we experience a moment of quiet, enveloped in the awful, drain-like tug of feeling sorry for oneself. In Jennie Duguay's "Numb is a Feeling: Embodying a Body of Pain," we come face-to-face with pain itself, and in an interview with Johanna Hedva, we talk the repudiating universal, how to make meaning beyond delineated spaces.
In a world that so often denies us existence, all we can do is shout. All we can do is let our stories be heard, through poetry, art, the personal essay. So I hope that Apotheosis speaks to you. I hope you feel seen. I hope you know we love you, and that Apotheosis is irrefutable, undeniable proof of that love.
We see you, Monsters. We hear you. And we promise: you’re not alone.
Apotheosis is messy, unapologetic, curious. It toys with concepts, subverts expectations, creates anew. And it is yours. For you, by you.
To our audience, thank you. To our contributors, thank you. To our supporters, our signal boosters, our faithful social media followers, thank you. And to our staff, who worked and worked and held fast to the vision—this would not have been possible without you, so thank you, thank you, thank you.
May this signify a new beginning. Apotheosis is the "highest point in the development of something," the "culmination or climax"—and, now, the age of monsters.