With this issue, I set out to curate a collection of work that made me feel less alone. Which is maybe a leap from “Audacity,” but when you think about it, audaciousness can often be perceived as scandalousness, and scandal can translate to shame, which can make us feel isolated in a way that prevents us from seeing how our own brazen behaviour is echoed by our peers. I wanted the issue to offer an antithesis to shame, and damn, did these artists ever deliver.
The cover art by Gaby D’Alessandro offers an apt introduction to the interior artists, who are about to spill their guts, exposing all the squirmy details of their sex lives, mental health, and family dynamics. The protagonist of Marlowe Granados’s commissioned story demonstrates the kind of effortless confidence and self-assurance we all strive for. And in their interview, Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros and Tin Lorica discuss the power of laughter to spur empathy. So many of these pieces made me laugh, which is something I really need these days. Special shout out to Petranella Daviel for “Girls Like Horses and Abortion,” which had me cackling at my desk, then weeping. Whether the creators were being vulnerable with their frustrations and insecurities, or bold with their boundaries and fuck yous, the one common thread running through this whole issue is bravery. I want to sincerely thank the artists for their courage and spunk.
I don’t want to only acknowledge the pieces published in the issue, but also the pieces that were submitted and unfortunately rejected. We received a record number of submissions for Audacity, and there were upwards of a hundred that I would’ve loved to see published. It was truly an editor’s dream scenario, and simply the best way to close this chapter with Room. So much love also to my team, Karmella, Ellen, and Michelle, and eternal gratitude to the whole Growing Room Collective. I have cherished being your publisher and your friend.
~ Molly Cross-Blanchard