Q: What does "masque" mean?

A: It has come to my attention that some of our readers would like to know where exactly the name "masque" comes from. Having served as masque’s financial officer, design/production head, and now in my second year as editor, I can confidentially tell you that I have no idea. But there’s no shortage of interesting theories out there.

One camp touts the statistical likelihood that our group’s name is an acronym, and that, along with most acronyms at Stanford, everyone has simply long forgotten what it stood for. Perhaps we are "Magazine Art Serving Queers Everywhere;" perhaps "Masochist Anarchists Sanitizing Quantum Eugenics." Others propose a Spanish origin --- but does masque both ask and answer, "¿más qué? más queer;" or is it "más que," more than, beyond the bounds of your average magazine? Perhaps it’s just a collapsed version of "mass queerness."

One deciding factor may have been the "Q" at the center rather than the front of the word. As one of the feature artists in this issue, Virginia Solomon, elucidates, masque differs from most queer organizations in that it is about a queer subjectivity, not necessarily a queer subject matter. Still others consult the Oxford English Dictionary, taking the sixteenth century precursor to "masquerade" as a metaphor for our magazine, if not for life itself. Just as a masque combined speech, dance, and song, masque magazine engages many different forms of artistic expression. Just as a masque depended upon audience participation, masque magazine has no function or meaning without readers. Just as a masque required participants to wear masks, masque magazine asks readers to try on unfamiliar and unusual personas, examines the constructed nature of identities, and embodies the inescapable fact that all art is representation."

--- Ellen Freytag, Editor's Letter, vol. 7, iss. 1, Winter 2004

Q: Do you offer subscriptions?

A: Not at this time. Sorry. However, we can send individual copies of any back issue from 1999 to the present for $5 each (mostly to cover postage). Please contact the editor at masque_editor@yahoo.com to arrange mailing.

Q: How can I advertise in Masque?

A: At this time, Masque only accepts ads for the inside front and back covers. Our full-page rate is $300 for color or $250 for grayscale, per issue. Please contact the editor at masque_editor@yahoo.com if interested.

Q: If someone has a work printed in Masque or is on the Masque staff, that means he is a flaming faggot or she is a raging bulldyke, right?

A: No. Masque is for everyone. We define queer as anything that falls outside of the mainstream, challenges its audiences, reacts, thinks and provokes. Queer is a subjectivity, not a subject matter. In addition, the magazine was founded with the explicit purpose of promoting queer awareness among our peers --- meaning primarily our peers who are not part of or are not familiar with the queer community. The contributions of straight allies are essential to that mission; allies frequently lead our glossy, 9" x 12" procession across the precarious bridge that straddles deadly currents of homophobia, in order to enter the minds of the ignorant or unaware and hopefully leave some beautiful footprints behind. Masque would particularly like to thank past ally staff members Olivia Solis and Sam Brown for their dedication.

Q: If not all of the writers and artists who appear in Masque identify as queer, then about what percentage would you say are queer?

A: Contributors are not asked to state their sexual orientation, and we are reluctant to apply labels to our contributors, let alone reducing their complex identities to the single characteristic of sexuality. But as much as we'd like to just answer questions like this one with "Who cares?" or "Why should that matter?", we also understand that there's no use pretending that we live in a world where people do not label each other and judge each other in regards to gender presentation and sexual orientation. As the roughest of estimates, veteran staff guess that straight allies usually comprise around 25 percent (but as high as 50 percent) of contributors, and queer folk around 75 percent (but as high as 100 percent). These percentages vary from issue to issue, of course.

Q: How do you choose feature artists?

A: In the past, when Masque was distributed nationally, our feature artists consisted of prominent or emerging queer figures in the national art scene, such as Dorothy Allison, Catherine Opie, and Jamie Griffiths. Since Masque has returned its focus to our own campus, however, feature artists have been required to be undergraduate or graduate students at Stanford, or in rare cases non-student members of the Stanford community. Feature artists are also our one "exception" to our policy of disregarding the sexual orientation of contributors. To be considered as feature artists in Masque, individuals must not only produce art with a queer subjectivity but also be able to discuss how their own queerness or queer experience of the world has impacted their art. Lastly, feature artists must be individuals who envision their creative work as their primary occupational pursuit for the future. Feature artists may work in any medium; past feature artists have included photographers, novelists, choreographers, musicians, and poets.

More FAQs Coming Soon
In the meantime, feel free to contact the editor at masque_editor@yahoo.com with any questions or inquiries.