Let’s make a queer tarot deck!!

So you wanna help make a queer tarot deck?

It’s time, my friends, it’s time.

We all know this big wide world needs a tarot deck consisting solely of awesome LGBTQ peeps, and guess what, it’s time for us to make it. Together.

That means you, you big gorgeous tarot-loving queermo!

NB – as this deck has not yet been made, I will be illustrating this post using pictures of furry creatures.

The story told in the tarot cards is the story of life – all of our lives. There are cards for our proudest moments, cards for our lowest rock-bottoms. Cards for profound turning points, cards for a night out with our friends. Cards and combinations of cards for pretty much anything you can go through.

queer-tarot-project-emily

I want to apply a queer filter to this universal narrative. I believe that collectively and individually, LGBTQ people have incredible stories that need to be told. I want us to use tarot to tell this collective story and create a deck and a website which will celebrate the queer community right here, right now, with each card telling somebody’s personal story.

It will be a document of who we are at this moment in time, a collection of deeply personal stories, and a practical tool which anyone can use for self-exploration in the future.

The brief

I’m applying for funding to travel across the US and UK in 2015, photographing 78 queer-identified people who have a story to tell about one of the cards in the tarot.

Each card will be a collaboration between myself and an individual. I’ll come visit you, wherever you are in the States/UK. We’ll talk tarot, draw cards, talk about that one card you will ‘be’ in the deck. I’ll record your personal story, for publication on the accompanying website. And we’ll work together to create that card through photography. It will be beautiful and amazing and profound and I cannot cannot cannot wait to meet you and do this.

My plan was to, you know, turn up, get on a Greyhound and set off in search of participants… but that ain’t gonna win this project the £5k it needs. I need to enlist y’all right now so the funders can see I have a plan!

queer-tarot-project-billie

ALSO. It’s important to know that this really really might not come off. This is a competitive funding programme and less than a quarter of applicants are successful. If we’re not successful this time, I will apply elsewhere, write to rich people, maybe we could do a Kickstarter… you know? We’ll do this. The world needs your stories. The world needs this tarot deck.

The sad bit

Participation in the actual physical tarot deck part is only open to people based in the US or UK. I am so sorry! The budget is just £5k, and the funding criteria states that the project needs to work in just one country (plus the UK) and since the vast majority of people in my queer tarot sphere are based in America, that’s where I plan to do this project.

However! If you’re not in the US (or you don’t get picked to be in the deck), don’t fret! There will be a brilliant website where you can create your own card and submit your stories and artwork. I’m already frustrated by both the borders of the USA and the limits of the 78 cards (it suddenly seems like such an impossibly small number!) and am determined to make this a project that LGBTQ people anywhere in the world can contribute to.

queer-tarot-project-jammy

Want to take part?

If you want to apply to ‘be’ one of the 78 cards in the queer tarot deck, you’ll need to…

  • Be based in the US
  • Identify as queer (whatever that means to you)
  • Choose one card that especially resonates for you as an element of your own queer story and tell me why you want to ‘be’ this card.
  • Be available between March and July 2015 (sorry I can’t be more specific right now) to meet with me, talk tarot, tell your story and be photographed for your card.
  • Provide me with a bed for the night when I come visit you! (There will be no spare money for accommodation and I’ll be backpacking around on the Greyhound so, y’know, it would be nice to have a safe place to lay my head.)

Note: It’s really important that this deck represents the diversity of our whole big queer community, so priority will be given to trans people, Native people and people of colour if there are a large proportion of white cis applicants.

How to apply

Visit this very exciting page and complete the application form there. You’ll also find more information about what I’m looking for in participants, and how people will be selected for the deck.

Lastly, whenever there is progress or news, I’ll share it with you here on my blog, and on Autostraddle as part of the Fool’s Journey series. And if you’re on my wee mailing list, you’ll hear about things first.

 

Woohoo! I can’t wait to do this with you guys!

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2 comments

  1. Oh my word, I love this! I’m at a loss for more words because I honestly just love this. I don’t know how you came up with the idea to collaborate with individuals, but I think that is brilliant. The deck will be charged full of real people, real stories, and as a storyteller, this makes my heart so happy. 🙂 I can’t wait to see more updates on this!

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